Monday, February 25, 2013

How To Make a Homemade First Aid Kit for Kids

Helping your child make a homemade first aid kit is a fun craft that offers many other benefits. You can use the process of helping your child make a homemade first aid kit to teach the basic concepts of first aid in a way they can understand.

picture of first aid kit
We used an empty coffee can for our homemade first aid kit

As they choose the things to make a homemade first aid kit, you can take advantage of this teachable moment to explain what each item is used such as bandages to cover wounds or an ice pack for bruises. This way, you are familiarizing them with basic emergency medical techniques, equipping them for real-life situations, and teaching them a basic knowledge of first aid.

Homemade First Aid Kit for Kids

The KISS method - or keep it simple, sweetie - is always a safe choice when working with younger kids. As a rule of thumb, the younger the child, the fewer the items in the first aid kit. Make your craft session short to match their shorter attention spans. When you are working with older kids, you have more flexibility and can let them have a freer hand in planning and putting their kits together.

Advantages of A Homemade First Aid Kit Over Store-bought

ice pack for children
Boo-boo bear ice pack
You could always purchase a prepackaged first aid kit and adapt it, but it's way more fun to help kids make their own kit. They get to choose cool items like decorated bandages or scented hand sanitizers, so they will probably play with it and enjoy it for a longer time.

Making the kit encourages their creativity and imagination, while cutting, pasting or gluing decorations on their kit encourages their fine motor skills.

Best of all, it keeps them occupied so they aren't complaining about how bored they are. All in all, it's a win-win situation!

 Making Homemade First Aid Kits for Kids

At a minimum, a child's first aid kit should include bandages, gauze and some sort of a mild, non-toxic disinfectant. However, you can make it as simple or elaborate as you please.

Here's our suggestions for things to make a homemade first aid to help you decide what to include:
  • Lots of adhesive bandages and sterile gauze pads in various sizes, colors and designs
  • Disposable gloves (buy the smallest possible size)
  • Plastic tweezers
  • Kid-safe scissors
  • Digital thermometer
  • Triangle bandage for slings
  • Face masks
  • Kid-safe hand sanitizer (non-alcohol versions)

Here's How to Make Your First Aid Kit

  1. Gather all your supplies after you decide what to include and pick out your container. Empty plastic coffee cans, oatmeal boxes or shoe boxes are good choices. Only include child-safe items which your child can use without adult supervision.
  2. If you would prefer a kit with  handle, consider using an old lunchbox or sand pail for your base.
  3. Encourage your children to decorate the outside of their first aid kit with stickers, markers or crayons and personalize it by adding their names; for instance, Zach's First Aid Kit.
  4. Help them pack the various items into the kit.

Hands-On Learning

Take time to pretend play with your child and the first aid kit, and teach them how to give first aid in a non-emergency situation. Kids love pretending to be doctors and nurses, so use their natural fascination with this topic to encourage learning.They can bandage boo-boos for their friends or even their stuffed toys. Be sure to compliment them on their efforts, and tell them how proud you are that they are using their homemade first aid kits so well.

Practice, practice, practice until your child feels calm and assured while using his first aid kit to help with real, minor injuries. You might also want to teach them about dialing 911 and making emergency phone calls. While as parents we hope our children never need life skills like first aid, it does help lower stress for both us and them when we know we have done our best to prepare them for emergencies.

Images copyright 2013 by Donna Cosmato, all rights reserved

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