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Be prepared with a first aid kit while children enjoy the last of the summer

With the upcoming August bank holiday and the summer holidays reaching an end in a couple of weeks, many children will be making the most of playing outside before they return to nursery, play group or school.

As with all play that involves running around, it’s inevitable that a few accidents will happen, so Nottingham City CCG is reminding parents to be prepared for bumps, scrapes and falls with a well-stocked first aid kit.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, more than two million children under the age of 15 have accidents while playing at home each year, and of these, children under the age of five were the most likely to get hurt.

Dr Alastair McLachlan, Corporate Medical Lead at the CCG, said: “Self-care is often best for cuts, scrapes and grazes. With all the minor accidents that happen over the summer months and with outdoor play, it’s a good idea to check your first aid kit to make sure it is stocked up. There’s nothing worse than getting out the first aid kit to discover you’ve run out of plasters or antiseptic wipes. Your local pharmacy can advise you on treatment for minor injuries and over the counter medicines that are safe for your child.”

A typical first aid kit should include:

  • High factor sunscreen (SPF 50 provides the best protection) – reapply the cream every couple of hours during a day in the sun, even if it’s cloudy or overcast. This is especially important if your child is in and out of water.
  • A thermometer – digital thermometers give very accurate readings but may not be suitable for young children. Place a thermometer under the arm to read a baby or young child's temperature. In children under five, a fever is considered to be important if the temperature is higher than 37.5ºC (99.5ºF).
  • Antiseptic – to clean cuts before they are dressed and most brands can also be used for insect stings; alcohol-free antiseptic wipes are useful to clean cuts.
  • Tweezers – for taking out splinters; if left in, they can cause discomfort and become infected.
  • Plasters – a range of sizes, waterproof if possible.
  • Sterile dressings – larger injuries should be covered with a sterile dressing to prevent infection until treatment can be given by a health professional.
  • Medical tape – this is used to secure dressings and can also be used to tape an injured finger to an uninjured one, creating a makeshift splint.
  • Bandages – these can support injured limbs, such as a sprained wrist, and for applying direct pressure to larger cuts.
  • Eyewash solution – to wash out grit or dirt.
  • Insect bite and nettle rash cream.
  • Allergy medicine – your local pharmacy can advise on the best type for your child.
  • Cooling gel packs or flannels – dip in cold water and use as a compress if your child has a small bump to the head.
  • Cough, cold and pain relief remedies – paracetamol or ibuprofen are good for relieving discomfort. However, avoid ibuprofen if your child has asthma, unless advised by your GP.

If you’re worried about your child’s injuries and unsure whether they need medical help, call NHS111. This service offers advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can advise you where to go if your child has had a bang to the head or has a sprain or an unexplained rash.

For more information about what to do if your child has an accident, visit www.nhs.uk

Published: 27 August 2015