Sudden fevers, itchy skin eruptions, scraped knees and banged heads are just some of the situations parents must be ready to manage at the most unexpected moments. Mom and pediatrician, Dr. Jamie Friedman, suggests that parents and caregivers stay prepared by taking a CPR class, keeping the number of the Poison Control Center saved on their phones (1-800-222-1222), and having these simple items handy in case of emergency:
- Fever/pain reducer
- Antibiotic ointment (generic triple antibiotic ointment is fine)
- Gauze (regular and non-stick) and tape
- Ice packs
- Elastic bandages
- Copy of child’s medical history, medications, allergies and phone numbers for doctors and specialists to take to the ER or give to babysitters
Periodically check the expiration dates for all medications in your emergency kit and replace them when necessary. Create — and save on your smartphone — a digital file (there’s an app for that) of the key components of your child’s medical history, especially important past medical events and diagnoses, allergies, and medications (include prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and any supplements taken as well). Your pediatrician’s office can provide a printed copy of your child’s medical history with all the important data points documented in the electronic health record. (Be sure to do the same regarding your own medical history, as well as your spouse’s or significant other’s, or anyone else whose health may fall into your hands.)
Dr. Friedman provides simple tips on treating minor cuts and scrapes, minor burns, and sprains and strains, before reminding parents about common head injuries:
[T]oddlers and young children fall and hit their heads all of the time. They usually get right back up and start playing again and don’t typically need any further care. However, any head injury that results in a loss of consciousness, altered mental status, severe headache or vomiting should be checked right away. When in doubt, have your child see the doctor.
Read and bookmark “First Aid at Home” on Dr. Jamie Friedman’s excellent blog here.