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This post first appeared in 2013 with the title First Aid Kit in Diaper Bag Today. While I still often leave the house without first aid supplies, here’s a reminder to tote a few basics during this playground/hiking season.

My son had his first major boo boo this past weekend. He was horsing around with a stroller, took a bad tumble on a driveway, and ended up with a bad gash on his forehead, a split lip, and scrapes/scabs around his nose.

Fortunately, we were staying with a doctor who swooped in and calmly cleaned and pulled the cut together, assuring us he would not need stitches. In just moments, it all went from looking like a freshly birthed placenta on top of a tiny forehead to a kid with a simple bandage.

Lessons learned:

  1. Head wounds bleed a LOT.
  2. When you have a big cut, you want to pull the skin back together. Maria did this with medical tape.
  3.  You can put antibacterial ointment on the inside of a bandaid before putting bandaid on wound (instead of trying to dab a cut directly with ointment).
  4. One of my husband’s mantras for keeping stress at bay works well for emergency response: “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”
  5. Above all: bandaids, ointment, medical tape, dye-free benadryl, and fever reducer are going in the diaper bag from now on.

low adhesive bandaids

2016 Amendment: My kid wasn’t fond of bandaids, and often resisted them. Turns out, he didn’t like how they felt

coming off. The less expensive, store-brand bandages seem to have less adhesive. Our kid loves “Skylander” bandages, just because they don’t hurt coming off. We don’t know these characters or TV show, but we love the bandages!




  1. Also good to know is there is nothing better than a good bleed at cleaning out a wound. Was told this once after recounting in a panic to the pediatrician that Chris’s head wound had not be been properly irrigated before being stiched. I hadn’t realized it at the time due to both his and my own personal hysteria : /


  2. Always have colorful band aids on hand. Glad he is ok.


  3. Add mini-tweezers to your list. Tweezerman has really awesome travel-sized ones in a little case — I got mine at Walgreens. Maybe add a needle to the tube as well. (Splinters are easy to handle with tweezers/needle — and torture without.)

Leap, Little Frog

a musician's musings on nesting, being creative, traveling, and parenting