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First Aid Kit

Those of us that already have children will understand the need of having a well stocked first aid kit handy. For children, scrapes, bruises and bumps are commonplace. When choosing a first aid kit for your home, make sure that you pick one that will be large enough to contain any extra supplies that might not be included in a store bought kit. If you choose to make your own first aid kit, you should choose a container that will be durable and easy to open. Fishing tackle boxes and art supply boxes make ideal first aid kits. Make sure your kit contains a good first aid manual and that you have read through it thoroughly and check you kit often to replace missing and outdated items. Some of the items you should have in your kit are:

bullet first-aid manual
bullet sterile gauze
bullet adhesive tape
bullet adhesive bandages in several sizes
bullet elastic bandage
bullet antiseptic wipes
bullet soap
bullet antibiotic cream
bullet antiseptic solution (like hydrogen peroxide)
bullet hydrocortisone cream
bullet acetaminophen and aspirin (aspirin is not recommended for children under age 12)
bullet extra prescription medications (if going on vacation)
bullet tweezers
bullet sharp scissors
bullet safety pins
bullet disposable instant cold packs
bullet calamine lotion
bullet syrup of ipecac
bullet thermometer
bullet plastic gloves
bullet flashlight and extra batteries
bullet mouthpiece for administering CPR
bullet list of emergency phone numbers
bullet blanket (stored nearby)

Every parent should know how and when to administer CPR. When performed correctly, CPR can save a child's life by restoring his breathing and circulation until advanced life support can be provided.

What is CPR?
The letters in CPR stand for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a combination of rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) and chest compressions. If a child is not breathing or circulating blood adequately, CPR can restore circulation of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Without oxygen, permanent brain damage or death can occur in less than eight minutes.

Reading about CPR and learning when it is needed will give you a basic understanding of the procedure, but it is strongly recommended that you learn how to perform CPR by taking a course. If CPR is needed, use of correct technique will give your child the best chance of recovery.

When to Call a Doctor
Although some symptoms of illness differ depending on a child's age, some are the same for all children. For any child, infant to adolescent, call your child's doctor if you observe any of the following signs or symptoms

Signs and Symptoms - Infant to Adolescent

bullet high fever (The level of fever that is considered significant depends on the age of the child, the illness, and whether the child has other symptoms with the fever.)
bullet chills that make the child shake all over
bullet loss of consciousness
bullet extreme sleepiness or unexplained lethargy
bullet unusual excitement or hysterical crying
bullet sudden weakness or paralysis of any part of the body
bullet seizures (convulsions) or uncontrollable shaking of an arm or leg
bullet severe headache
bullet pain, heaviness, or stuffiness around the nose, eyes, or forehead
bullet nasal fluid that is discolored, bad-smelling, or bloody
bullet sudden hearing loss
bullet earache
bullet fluid discharge from the ear
bullet sudden decrease in vision
bullet eyes that are red, swollen, and watery, with or without blurred vision
bullet eyes that are extremely sensitive to light, especially if your child also has a fever, headache, or stiff neck
bullet a yellow color in the whites of the eyes or in the skin, especially with pain in the abdomen and/or dark or tea-colored urine
bullet stiffness or pain in the neck, especially with fever or headache
bullet severe sore throat, especially with trouble swallowing or speaking
bullet uncontrolled drooling because of painful swallowing
bullet difficulty breathing, especially with pale or bluish color of the lips or nails
bullet unusually rapid breathing
bullet severe or persistent cough, especially if it brings up bloody or discolored mucus
bullet vomiting for 12 hours or more
bullet vomiting of blood
bullet intense or unusual abdominal pain
bullet swollen or abnormally large abdomen
bullet diarrhea that is streaked with blood or mucus
bullet pain in the middle of the back, especially with fever or with discomfort while urinating
bullet painful or unusually frequent urination
bullet urine that is discolored, bloody, cloudy, or has an unusual smell
bullet discharge from the penis
bullet vaginal discharge that is thick and white, brown or discolored, or smells bad
bullet pain, redness, or swelling of a joint that can't be explained by exercise or injury
bullet a cut or scrape that oozes pus or becomes hot, red, tender, or swollen
bullet a sudden rash, or sudden crop of blotches or blisters, especially over a large area of the body

Special Signs and Symptoms - Birth to 1 Month

bullet fever (rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees F should prompt a call to the doctor)
bullet baby suddenly becomes "floppy" and loses muscle tone all over
bullet one or both eyes are pink, bloodshot, have a sticky white discharge, or eyelashes that stick together
bullet diarrhea in newborns - more than six to eight watery stools per day (breastfed newborns often have more loose stools than formula-fed babies; (check with your child's doctor for guidance)
bullet redness or tenderness around the navel area
bullet white patches in the mouth
bullet nose blocked by mucus so baby can't breathe while feeding
bullet forceful vomiting
bullet vomiting that lasts for 12 hours or more
bullet vomiting with fever and/or diarrhea
bullet baby stops feeding normally
bullet crying for an abnormally long time

Special Signs and Symptoms - 1 Month to 1 Year

bullet fever (rectal temperature 100.4 degrees F in infants younger than 3 months, 101 degrees F in infants ages 3 to 6 months, and 104 degrees F in a child 6 months or older)
bullet baby refuses to eat and misses several feedings
bullet baby is unusually cranky and irritable or unusually sleepy

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