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When your new baby arrives, you become their first line of medical care. Being prepared with some basic first aid skills can go a long way to keep your baby safe, your sanity intact and your trips to the doctor less frequent. How should you prepare?

We recommend starting by building up a first aid kit in your home. This kit should contain items to benefit the entire family, including those products meant for tiny babies. As they get older, you can update the supplies in the kit to suit your needs.

Here are the supplies we recommend filling yours with:

  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze
  • Medical tape
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Compress dressing
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Cold compress
  • Painkillers (formulations for all ages)
  • Latex gloves
  • Roller bandages
  • Oral thermometer
  • Ear thermometer or non contact thermometer
  • Hydrocortisone ointment
  • Medicine syringe for infants
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Prescription medications (if any)
  • Anti-diarrheal medication

The important thing to remember when preparing a first aid kit is to make sure it’s placed somewhere easily accessible for adults and children old enough to retrieve it safely. Make sure to include copies of any medical records that would be important (allergies, diagnosed conditions, etc.) as well as a manual to help you give your child what they need should they get hurt — look for one with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and diagrams.

Now that you’re stocked up on supplies, it’s time to do some studying to help you prepare for the arrival of your baby. Taking a CPR class is always a smart idea so you know how to help your baby in case of an emergency. You can also take instructional courses on administering basic first aid like dressing wounds, burns and broken bones, what to do if they have an allergic reaction as well as performing the Heimlich maneuver for babies, should your child start to choke.

Taking the time to undergo some extra preparation can truly be life saving. Armed with the supplies and knowledge you need, you can respond quickly to help your child. As always, be sure to take them to the hospital if they experience a severe injury or they don’t seem to be improving from an illness or injury– when in doubt, always call for help.

You may not have expected to become a nurse of sorts when you became a parent, but with a few nursing skills, you can do amazing things to keep your little one feeling happy and well.

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