Accidents happen. It's always a good idea for parents to attend an accredited first aid course. You will find out about local courses from your local branch of the St John Ambulance. Find its telephone number in your phone directory.
Every house should have a first-aid kit that should be kept somewhere convenient and easily accessible, out of the way of small children.
• A pad to stop bleeding, for example gauze.
• A bandage to hold the pad on and for use with sprains.
• Scissors to cut clothing, bandages and pads.
• Protective gloves. You may have to use your first-aid kit for a stranger who is bleeding. The gloves will protect you from infection.
• Paracetamol in formulations to suit all family members.
• Antihistamines if anyone in your family is prone to allergy.
• The telephone number of a doctor's surgery, hospital casualty and taxi firm.
• A small list of emergency procedures to help you cope in a panic.
• Antiseptic ointment or lotion. You can wash wounds with water.
• Selection of plasters.
• An eye bath.
• Triangular sling.
• Selection of bandages for different purposes, for example, crepe for sprains and gauze for dressings.
• Clingfilm for burns. Chop a roll to a size to fit your first-aid box. Treat burns by plunging first in cold water for five minutes, then wrapping clingfilm gently around the burned area, leaving it slightly loose.
• Tweezers for stings and thorns.
• Specialist items if you have a patient with special needs among your friends and family, such as glucose for a diabetic.
Include a copy of the NCT Book of Child Health by Dr Morag Martindale, £5.99 from NCT Sales at 0870 112 1120