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Get ready for the summer holidays

Check-you-have-everything-you-need-for-minor-injuries.With the summer holidays coming up many parents will be planning to make the most of the sunshine before it is back to nursery, play group or school again.  If your children are like most, they are probably chasing each other around the garden using more energy than you can muster.

But with all that energy and excitement flowing there’s bound to be a fall, scrape or even a bump to the head, so it’s best to be prepared!

It’s not uncommon for children to have accidents while playing at home.  In fact, this happens to more than two million children under the age of 15 each year1.  And children under the age of five are the most likely to hurt themselves.

Most accidents are minor and can be treated at home with a first aid kit.  But when was the last time you checked yours?

A typical first aid kit should include a high factor sunscreen (SPF 50 provides the best protection)This should be re-applied every couple of hours during a day in the sun, even if it’s cloudy or overcast.  It’s especially important if your child is in and out of water.

A thermometer – this can be placed under the arm and is a good way to read a baby or young child’s temperature.  Digital thermometers give very accurate readings but may not be suitable for young children.

Antiseptic wipes – these can be used to clean cuts before they are dressed (bandaged) and most can treat a range of conditions, including insect stings, ulcers and pimples.  Alcohol-free antiseptic wipes are useful to clean cuts.

 It’s important to have a range of plasters for minor cuts and grazes, and sterile dressings for larger injuries.  But don’t forget medical tape to secure the dressing.  It is also good for creating a makeshift splint by taping an injured finger to an uninjured one.

Bandages are especially useful for supporting injured limbs, such as a sprained ankle or wrist, and for applying direct pressure to larger cuts.  It’s good to keep some cooling gel packs or a flannel handy so you can dip into cold water and use as a compress should your child experience a bump to the head.

For hay fever, stinging nettle rash, insect bites, coughs, colds and pain relief treatment, speak to your local pharmacy.  They can advise you on the best type of treatment for your child.

Seek medical help if your child has had a knock or bump to the head that has caused mild dizziness and a headache to get worse.  NHS111 can offer advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week and advise you of the best place to go if you are unsure.  All the caller has to do is dial 111 to talk to the NHS.

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