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First aid necessities for new parents

What do parents need in their medicine cabinet?
What do parents need in their medicine cabinet?
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New parents might panic when their baby is sick. They haven't figured out quite everything yet. For instance, what kind of first aid supplies are a necessity? I found that out quickly as a divorced Mom of three with no vehicle. It was essential to have basic supplies on hand for all my kids. Running to the store was not an option. Even if you have a vehicle available to you, the store may not be open at 1:00 am, when baby gets a fever. When it comes to your baby's health, it's undoubtedly better to be safe than sorry.

Your medicine cabinet should be well stocked with basic over the counter meds for baby.

You will need a pain reliever, fever reducer. Ask your doctor whether to use acetaminophen Ibuprofen. These medicines come in child and infant strengths but should never be used on children under the age recommended on the directions. Always Check the label for dosage information. Some medication cannot be given to infants and children under a certain age. Even a small amount of extra medicine can cause overdose in infants and children.

Note: You should never give a child or infant aspirin as it has been linked to Reyes Syndrome, a very serious illness which has been known to cause death.

A good thermometer is a must for infant first aid. Rectal temperatures are the most accurate. If you're uncomfortable with this you can get a good reading by placing the thermometer under your baby's arm. A thermometer that takes your baby's temperature in the ear is a more modern option. It only takes a few seconds and will eliminate all the stress of getting your active child to hold still so long.

Teething medicine will save your baby from a lot of painful nights. If you've ever had a toothache, you know how painful teething must be. Once again, be sure to check the dosage before giving your child any medication.

Diaper Rash can be very painful and irritating for baby. Be sure to have a good diaper rash medication on hand. If your baby is prone to frequent diaper rash, consult your physician. It may be more than a rash. Some babies get yeast infections or have skin problems such as Eczema.

Antibiotic Ointment will keep cuts and scrapes from getting infected. Be careful not to apply it to any area baby can put in their mouth.

Iodine, rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are good all purpose sterilizing agents. In a pinch, the peroxide will work on cuts and scrapes as well. I don't recommend the other two for this as they will sting a bit when applied.

Petroleum jelly is another basic first aid necessity. It can be used to soothe anything from chapped lips to diaper rash. It does this by forming a protective coating over the irritated area.

Does your baby have frequent bouts of colic (upset stomach or gas)? You may want to have some simethicone drops on hand. These will often alleviate gas. Check with your doctor if symptoms are severe. Your child may have allergies to dairy products.

You'll definitely want to invest in a cool air humidifier. These will help alleviate cold symptoms. Strong cold medicines are often dangerous or even fatal when used on babies and small children This is a good alternative.

Your baby can't blow his nose. You will also want to keep saline nasal drops and a nasal aspirator on hand for this purpose.

Babies fingernails grow quite quickly. You will need a pair of baby nail clippers. It is important to keep infants nails clipped as they tend to scratch at their faces. If they are still leaving scratch marks there are little baby gloves you can buy as well.

Speaking of good grooming, don't forget babies need special soaps. Babies have highly sensitive skin. Using regular care products may cause rash or irritation.I recommend a good plain, all natural soap, rather than scented baby products.

One first aid item you may not think about is an electrolyte drink. A common brand of this is Pedialyte. This is used to hydrate your child after a severe bout of diarrhea or vomiting. Formula or breast milk can cause symptoms to reappear if your child is not ready to eat yet, but it is important that they stay hydrated.

A medicine dropper is a wonderful addition to your first aid supply cabinet. It's much easier to give medicine to babies this way than with a spoon. It is also much more accurate. Less spillage occurs with this method.

Keep a wide variety of bandages, including cheesecloth and white adhesive tape. You never know what size or type of cut your infant or child will get. They are always exploring and learning new skills such as crawling and walking. This makes them more prone to injury than adults.

Cotton Swabs are another good multi purpose first aid product to keep on hand. They can be used to clean small areas or to apply creams, lotions, and antibiotics. When used for ear cleaning, remember not to go into the ear canal itself. This can cause severe damage or loss of hearing.

Note: The author is not a licensed medical professional. This article is not meant to replace professional medical advice.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

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