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How to stock a classroom first-aid kit

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, injury was still the leading cause of death for children in 2019. 

If you work in early childhood education, bumps and scraped knees come with the territory. However, it is important to always be ready for any medical situation that could arise, from minor cuts to life-threatening accidents. A first-aid kit is a critical component of any classroom. 

Supplies to have on hand
If you don't already have medical supplies in your classroom, creating a first-aid kit is an important first step. While you can purchase pre-made options, making your own from scratch is also feasible. 

The Red Cross recommends including the following:

  • 2 absorbent compress dressings
  • 1 breathing barrier with one-way valve
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets
  • Oral thermometer
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 25 adhesive bandages
  • 2 packets of aspirin
  • 1 blanket
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • 2 pair of large nonlatex gloves
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets
  • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • First aid instruction booklet

Remember to check expiration dates regularly to ensure that none of your supplies have expired. Replace any materials that have expired or been used as needed. 

A well-stocked first aid kit is necessary for any classroom.  A well-stocked first-aid kit is necessary for any classroom.

First-aid in your classroom
While having a first-aid kit on hand is a good place to start, simply having the supplies in your classroom isn't enough. You also need to know how to use everything. If you have not already received first-aid and CPR certification, you should enroll in classes as soon as possible. Be sure to regularly renew your certification to keep your skills and knowledge fresh and up to date. 

You can also do a lot to prevent the need for first aid by looking for potential hazards in and around your classroom. Look at playground equipment and other areas where falls could occur to ensure that proper safety measures have been taken. 

Other leading causes of non-fatal injuries in this age group include drowning, striking an object, being struck by an object, and insect stings or animal bites. As a child care professional, you should be particularly vigilant against these risks in and around your classroom.  

To be ready for any threats to your students' safety in early childhood education, consider taking a ProSolutions Training online course on emergency preparedness.