Every parent knows the drill – you are out on a hike or playing at the park when your child takes a tumble and is injured. Caught unprepared, you may have no easy way to clean up and comfort your child. A travel-size family first aid kit can come to the rescue when dealing with life’s inevitable mishaps.
Having been caught unprepared myself, with my first aid kit in the car or at the house, I realized that I needed a mini first aid kit for everyday tumbles and spills. Nothing fancy, just a kit stocked with enough supplies to tide us over until we could get home for a proper clean-up.
Create Your Portable Family First Aid Kit
What you choose to put in your first aid kit is, of course, up to you and should be based on your family’s needs. Gather a few bandages and some gauze and then use the ideas below to create a helpful, reliable kit.
Arnica (Arnica montana)
This lovely mountain flower can help ease the effects of trauma from injury. Following an accident or injury, homeopathic arnica taken internally will help alleviate shock and reduce bleeding, bruising, and swelling. I usually offer homeopathic arnica to my children after an injury, and they calm down immediately upon taking it. Homeopathic arnica also helps provide relief from muscle pain and strain. Arnica salve, gel, or tincture can be used topically to soothe muscle soreness, tender nail beds, strained joints, and bruised areas. Do not use arnica on broken skin, and only use arnica internally in its homeopathic form.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Yarrow is an astringent plant that can stanch bleeding, which makes it a useful addition to any first aid kit. It also has antiseptic properties for disinfecting skin injuries. If you are near a yarrow plant when an injury occurs, you can use fresh leaves to make a spit poultice, or you can simply place a few leaves directly on the injury. Otherwise, having a little bit of yarrow in your family first aid kit is the next best thing. Keep powdered yarrow or yarrow tincture on hand for cleaning wounds and stopping blood flow. If you choose the powdered form, make sure to restock your kit frequently, since powdered herbs can lose potency quickly.
Read more about arnica and yarrow: Mountain Medicine: Yarrow And Arnica Uses
Bach Flower Rescue Remedy
This handy remedy is wonderful for helping everyone from the smallest children to adults deal with the shock of sudden trauma and emergencies. It is a blend of 5 flower essences that work together to bring comfort during stressful times. You can also use rescue remedy to calm nervousness and ease the stress of difficult situations, such during exams, auditions, or tense meetings. It’s particularly useful for calming kids after an accident. For young children, or in cases when you aren’t able to give a remedy by mouth, you can simply put a few drops of rescue remedy on the person’s skin. Otherwise, administer drops directly under the tongue, or add to water.
An Effective Tummy Soother
An upset tummy is no fun, especially if you are away from the comforts of home. So it is helpful to have a small stash of something to soothe an upset tummy. Choose something that you and your children like and find comforting. You can offer someone with an upset stomach some crystallized ginger, fennel seeds, organic peppermint candies, or a tummy glycerite (make your own) made with herbs such as chamomile, fennel, and peppermint.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Essential Oil
Incredibly useful, lavender essential oil is sometimes called first aid in a bottle. In fact, it is a favorite item in my own first aid kit. Lavender is a known antiseptic, analgesic, cicatrisant, antispasmodic, and of course, nervine. Mix 6 drops of lavender essential oil in 1/2 ounce of carrier oil or herbal infused oil for use on bug bites, burns, and mild skin injuries. You can also use lavender to deter insects or provide calm in stressful situations. In these cases, I like to put a drop or two of the essential oil on the person’s clothing. Inhaling lavender directly from the bottle can help alleviate headaches and relieve a stuffy nose. Read more about essential oil safety here and enjoy learning more about lavender essential oil here.
Other Herbal Additions To Consider…
- Healing Salve: Use a salve to ward off infection and to encourage healing. Choose a salve (or make your own) with infection-fighting herbs, such as echinacea, yarrow, calendula, or lavender.
- Echinacea Tincture: This tincture is great to have on hand to prevent illness and cleanse wounds.
- Tea Tree Essential Oil: Similar to lavender essential oil, tea tree is a wonderful topical antimicrobial.
- Peppermint Essential Oil: Inhale for nausea, headaches, exhaustion, and sinus troubles. This is a strong essential oil and needs to be diluted for safe use on the skin.
- Black Tea Bags: Black tea is astringent, and a moistened tea bag can be used as an on-the-go compress for bruising, bleeding, insect bites, and burns.
- Honey: Honey is an antiseptic and a skin healer. Use it to soothe abrasions, burns, and itchy bug bites.
- Homeopathic Remedies: I love the ease of using homeopathic remedies when we are out and about. Here are a few you may want to add to your first aid kit:
- Tabacum or Cocculus indicus: For motion sicknesses.
- Apis: Helpful for bee stings and insect bites.
- Hypericum: For crushing injuries to nerve-rich areas and for shooting nerve pain.
Pack It Up
You will need a container to hold your kit and to keep everything organized. Look for something small and sturdy, such as a small pouch or makeup bag. Ideally, the container should be washable, in case of spills or leakage. It should also be easy to open and close and have a strong closure.
Large bottles of essential oils, rescue remedy, and powdered herbs will not fit easily into a small first aid kit. To keep everything diminutive, consider using small, refillable bottles. Little 5/8 dram-size bottles are perfect for essential oils, while these slightly larger 2 dram-size bottles are a good size for tinctures, and even powdered herbs. Be sure to label everything clearly so that you will know exactly what kind of remedy you have in each bottle. Keep it small so your first aid kit can fit easily into a purse, stroller, or small bag.
You may want to include a small, laminated instruction card in your kit. In emergency situations, it can be difficult to remember what to do. Your handy instruction card can serve as ready made guide. Such a card can be useful if it turns out that you are the one who is hurt. An instruction card can help other people help you!
Using herbal tips and tricks such as these Poison Ivy Remedies Using Herbs and Summertime Foot Care Tips For Kids can be a wonderful way to take care of your family this summer. And a little help from a well-stocked first aid kit can help you and your family make it through life’s rough and tumble moments!
Arnica For Shock And Soreness. Retrieved from https://www.homeopathiclaboratories.com/articles/feature.php?subaction=showfull&id=1242139473&archive=&start_from=&ucat=4&
Mars, Brigitte AHG. (1999). Natural First Aid. Vermont: Storey Books.
Olenev, Deborah. (2010). Arnica Montana Homeopathic First Aid Remedy. Retrieved from http://www.homeopathyforhealth.net/2010/02/02/arnica-montana-homeopathic-first-aid-remedy/