Infant & Toddler First Aid
Stuffy noses, upset stomachs, fevers, bumps, scrapes, and scratches are universal parts of the parenting experience. Having a well-stocked first-aid kit can help ease stressful situations and limit the scrambling you might experience.
What to keep in your infant first-aid kit
You can buy a first-aid kit at the store with everything baby could need. However, if you want to pack your own or create a secondary kit for your diaper bag, you should include the following:
- Infant acetaminophen & infant ibuprofen
- An oral syringe & bulb syringe
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Antibiotic ointment
- Baby oil
- Rectal thermometer & petroleum jelly
- Cotton balls, sterile gauze, and cotton swabs
- Band aids
- Cold pack
- Emergency phone numbers
- CPR & first-aid manual
- Check the dates on your medications every 6 months
- Always talk to your pediatrician before giving your infant or toddler any medication
- If your infant has a fever, even a low one, and is 3 months or younger, always see your pediatrician as soon as possible.
Sleep safety is really important. Your baby should sleep in your bedroom for at least 6 months but preferably 1 year. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib or bassinet that does not have any pillows, blankets, or bumper pads. These items can increase your baby’s risk of SIDS. Furthermore, your baby should only sleep on a firm mattress with a tightly-fitted sheet, never in your bed with you. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your baby’s risk of SIDS is 5 times higher if he sleeps on a soft or squishy surface.
Your baby should be placed on his back in his crib for every sleep for at least the first year. Side sleeping and sleeping on other surfaces like your bed or the couch is not safe. Always keep your baby’s crib or bassinet in your bedroom.
If you have questions about sleep safety and your new baby, please talk to Dr. Moemeka and follow the AAP recommendations to keep your baby safe.
Infants and toddlers should be in rear-facing car seats in the backseat of your vehicle. Never place blankets or bulky clothing between your baby and the car seat straps; this can interfere with the safety of the straps.
As soon as your baby starts to roll, stop swaddling. This can increase the chance of SIDS if your baby ends up in a prone position.
Always call your pediatrician if your baby or toddler has a fever. Even a low-grade fever can be a symptom of a serious illness. Never ignore fevers or simply give your baby infant ibuprofen without first consulting Dr. Moemeka.
Cuts & scrapes
Babies can scratch themselves with their fingernails, toddlers can toddle their way into a cut or scrape easily, and all kids end up with a boo-boo at some point—or multiple points. If your baby has a cut or scrape, clean the wound with warm soapy water and use an antibiotic ointment to avoid an infection.
For large cuts, call your Coppell pediatrician or seek emergency medical attention to properly clean and suture the wound.
Stings and bites
Bug bites and stings happen. If there is a stinger in your baby, remove it as quickly as possible and use a cold compress to ease the pain. For itchy bites, you can use a hydrocortisone cream to soothe your baby’s skin.
Always monitor your baby’s symptoms and watch for swelling, redness, fever, hives, vomiting, or fever, and call 911 or seek emergency or urgent medical attention immediately.
If you know which type of insect bit your baby, you can respond accordingly. For instance, if your baby is bitten by a spider or tick, call your pediatrician immediately. If your baby is bitten by another animal or human, clean the wound and seek medical attention.
If your baby is experiencing a burn, immediately remove him from whatever the source of the heat is (asphalt, metal, hot cup, etc.) and run cold water over the burn until the pain subsides. Do not use medication or ointment before speaking with Dr. Moemeka. If you notice blisters, do not pop them.
For larger burns, seek emergency medical attention right away.
If your baby has accidentally ingested or come in contact with a poison, seek emergency medical attention right away.
Seizures can be terribly scary to watch. If your child is having a seizure, turn him on his side to prevent choking, and make sure that he is away from any object that could hurt him. Do not put anything in his mouth and loosen his clothing.
Call 911 immediately.
If your baby is choking, call 911 immediately and help your baby.
Remember: only call 911 if it is easy or if there is someone else to help. Help your baby first.
For information and a video on what to do, click here.
If your baby is unconscious, perform infant CPR immediately and call 911.
First aid is a really important part of your toolbox as a parent. If you have any questions or are uncomfortable with any first-aid procedures, please talk to Dr. Moemeka, your Coppell pediatrician, about them so that you can provide all of the necessary care with confidence. We understand how stressful these situations can be, and we want you to know that we are on your team and rooting for your baby’s wellness.