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NAN: Supplies for a Basic First Aid Kit

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Chances are that the supplies you need for a basic first aid kit are scattered throughout the home that you work in. Organizing and storing the supplies in an easily accessible place can ensure that you have what you need to administer first aid when you need it most. 

It’s good practice to have a basic first aid kit for the home, the car and the diaper bag. According to the American Red Cross, in addition to any personal care items, medications, and a flashlight and extra batteries, a basic first aid kit should contain the following:  

absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)

assorted adhesive bandages  

adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)

antibiotic ointment packets  

antiseptic wipe packets

packets of aspirin (81 mg each)

blanket (space blanket)  

breathing barrier (with one-way valve)

instant cold compress

pair of nonlatex gloves  

hydrocortisone ointment packets  


roller bandage (3 inches wide)

roller bandage (4 inches wide)

sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)  

sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)

Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)

triangular bandages


First aid instruction booklet.

Eye goggles, a tooth storage device and a bottle of Pedialyte can also be included in your first aid kit.  You’ll also want to have any specialized supplies, like juice or candy for a diabetic or extra diapers and wipes if the child in your care may require them. 

The American Red Cross also suggests storing emergency contact information with first aid supplies. When under pressure, you may forget important information that you have memorized. A sheet with the family’s address, the parents contact information, important medical information about the children in your care and contact information for the family’s physicians should be included. Your basic contact information and medical information may also be included. Nannies should also store a completed Authorization to Treat a Minor form and the children’s insurance information with first aid supplies. 

Store all of your basic first aid kit supplies in a waterproof container or bag for easy access.

While years ago it was considered best practice to routinely give syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting when an accidental poisoning occurred, the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends this practice. For this reason, syrup of ipecac should not be included in a first aid kit. 

As nannies, you are often the first responder when injuries happen to children in your care. If a child requires more than basic first aid and you need to seek medical help, it is imperative that you have an Authorization to Treat a Minor form in your possession. The NAN Client Services Agreement and Release Forms should also be completed and on file. The parents should complete the form and ensure you have access to it. Keep a hard and electronic copy with you whenever you are caring for a child. The parents may also wish to place a copy on file in the children’s pediatrician’s office. 

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Supplies for a Basic First Aid Kit