Just because your child is young doesn’t mean that he can’t learn how to put a band-aid on a cut. Knowing how to deal with minor injuries can help your kid feel more confident and may help reduce the tears of panic that can come with a scrape or cut. It may not be the same as when it’s sealed with a mommy kiss, but first aid skills are a valuable commodity to have.
First Aid Crafts
Let your kiddo make his own stocked first aid kit. Get a plain plastic lunch box and let him decorate it with stickers or puffy paint. Help him spell out his name, if he needs some assistance. Once the box is ready and the paint has dried, let your preschooler fill the first aid box with supplies such as different sized band-aids, gauze, elastic bandage wrap, tweezers and some adhesive tape. Once he’s done stocking up, find a safe and easy-to-find place to keep his first aid box -- you never know when the next skinned knee is going to happen. You can also have him make another pack to go in your car. You can add other things to that pack yourself, such as antibiotic ointment, ice packs, ipecac syrup, aspirin, small sharp scissors, needles, matches, alcohol swabs and rubber gloves. Talk about what each item is used for as you put the kit together with your kiddo.
Teach and Practice
Show your preschooler how to take care of you for a change -- most preschoolers are able to understand and grasp some basic first aid procedures. Show him how to hold a gauze pad on a wound, elevating the limb and applying pressure. Show him how to use an ice pack on a sprained ankle. Explain how to get a bee stinger out by scraping the skin with a credit card to pop it out or by using tweezers. Let him apply band-aids or wrap you with gauze bandages. You may look like a well-taken-care-of mummy, but you’ll both have fun with this type of first aid practice.
It’s always good for children to be trained to know what to do if an accident happens. Explain to your young one when and how to call 9-1-1, such as if you’re unconscious or choking. Attach a sticky label on or near the phone with your phone number and address. Unplug the phone and have him practice calling. Now for the fun -- bring out a teddy bear and tell your preschooler “Oh, no, Teddy hit his head and is unconscious, what are you going to do?” or tell him that he cut himself and needs help. As your preschooler pretends to call 9-1-1, you can pretend to be the operator and walk him through the over-the-phone first aid instructions. When you two are done, switch roles. Make sure to let your little guy know that calling 9-1-1 is only for real emergencies and that it’s not a game in real life.
First Aid Activity Sheets
Find several pictures of people or animals in a coloring book or draw your own. You can compile several of them together to make a first aid activity booklet, if you like. Gather some first aid supplies, such as band-aids, gauze and tweezers, to go with this activity. Go through the booklet with your child, describing an injury that the person or animal has incurred and have your preschooler demonstrate his first aid skills. For instance, the lion may have bonked his head and needs an ice pack. Maybe the giraffe has a skinned knee that needs a bandage or the monkey has a bee stinger that needs to be removed with the tweezers. Add more sheets, if needed.