The contents of the first aid kit you bring with you on holiday will depend on whether you are going to a hot or cold climate and whether mosquitos or other insects are a consideration. If you are going to a malaria zone then protection against mosquito bites will be even more important See insect protection for more on preventing and treating mosquito bites.
A first aid kit is essential for travelling with a baby. You can buy readymade kits in Boots and other pharmacies or you can make your own. Make sure that your first aid kit is waterproof and secure to ensure your child will not be able to access it. If your child has specific medical needs, discuss what to bring with your GP and ensure that you pack any prescription medicine that your child may be taking.
When purchasing items for a first aid kit remember to check the pack and ensure that the products are suitable for your child’s age group. Boots sell first aid kits which are useful for travel however, they may be missing some of the essentials for travel with a baby. Baby Aid make a first aid kit for kids, toddlers and babies, and is a pocket sized compact children’s emergency kit that fits in your handbag (available from Amazon).
First Aid Kit for Babies – The Essentials
A thermometer is important to establish if your child has a fever. There are a number of thermometers available on the market and most experts agree that digital thermometers are the best. These can be placed under your baby or toddler’s armpit to get an accurate reading. Digital ear thermometers can give you an accurate reading in one second but ensure that you are using it correctly as if it is not properly placed in the ear it can give a low reading. Thermometer strips are placed on your baby’s forehead to read the temperature. They are easy to pack although they are not thought to be very accurate. Glass thermometers are no longer used in hospitals and are not the safest as if they break they can cut your child and the mercury inside can be poisonous if your child swallows it.
Paracetemol and ibuprofen should be packed as they can help to relieve pain or reduce fever if your baby is teething or gets sunburned or sick. You can bring it in its liquid form and administer it with a syringe or spoon or you can also buy powder in sachets in pharmacies which can be poured into water or milk and given to your baby. Remember to check the dosage and age restrictions on the back of the bottle or pack. If you happen to buy pain relief products overseas, check the dosage with the pharmacist as it can vary from place to place.
Antiseptic Cream/ Spray/ Wipes
Antiseptic wipes and sprays can be used to treat minor cuts or grazes to prevent infection. Some of these may also contain a mild local anaesthetic to numb pain. A hand sanitizer for kids is also useful. Mucky Pups Hand Sanitizer (£5.00) is sold by Jojo Bebe Maman which is a hand sanitizer suitable for children over the age of 2 and is 99% effective against bacteria and viruses.
Sticking Plasters, Bandages and Adhesive Tape
Bring sticking plasters in different sizes and shapes for minor cuts, blisters and sore spots. Bandages and adhesive tape can be used for bigger grazes and scrapes.
You may need a tweezers to remove splinters and thorns from your child’s skin.
Eye Drops/ Eye Bath
If your child gets something in their eye you can use this to ease discomfort or clean out the eye.
Emergency Contact Numbers
For local hospitals, doctors and dentists and your nearest embassy or consular office (Please see our destination guide for specific information).
For Hot/ Tropical Climates
There are many brands of sunblock available on the market however, many of these are unsuitable for infants under 4 months. If you are travelling with a younger baby you will need to keep him or her in the shade, use UV protected swim wear or invest in a UV tent (Please see ‘Sun Protection’ for tips on selecting sun block).
Calamine lotion can be used to treat a rash or sunburn.
Aloe Vera Gel
this can be used to soothe sunburn and promote the healing of burnt skin
Insect repellent is a must when travelling to countries with mosquitos, particuly where mosquitos carry diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. (Please see section on Mosquito Protection for detailed information on selecting a repellent).
this can be used to soothe insect bites and reduce swelling
if your child becomes dehydrated this powder will safely rehydrate them. You can buy this in sachets which can be added to water or milk, Diuralite is a well-known brand in the UK and Ireland.
Ice or Gel Packs
can be used on injured areas to prevent swelling or bruises. Mr. Bump Bruise Soother is a great product which toddlers will love.