Under the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework, Ofsted requires all providers on the Early Years Register (nurseries, childminders, schools, and pre-schools) to provide paediatric first aid provision that includes providing “appropriate contents” in a first aid box that is accessible at all times, containing items suitable for use with children. However, what specific supplies should a paediatric first aid kit contain?
In this blog, we provide you with a comprehensive outline of what should be in a paediatric first aid kit and some tips for ensuring it is suitable for your organisation’s childcare needs.
How do I know what my paediatric first aid kit should include?
A paediatric first aid kit will differ compared to an adult first aid kit. This is due to the size of children and babies, and the fact that some supplies may not be suitable for early years children (0-5 years old). When deciding what first aid kit content you need, you should take into account both the adults and children in your setting. You may want a combined kit that is suitable for both adults and children, or two separate ones - this is up to you.
In a professional childcare setting, you must comply with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework.
In addition, the HSE reiterates that “the contents [of the kit] should reflect the outcome of the first aid needs assessment.”
This first aid needs assessment will allow you to identify what exactly your paediatric first aid kit should contain. You should also look at any previous injury or illness records to ensure you are prepared in case of repeated events in the future. There is no one-fits-all paediatric first aid kit so you must complete an assessment to determine what exactly is needed for your unique environment.
What should be included in a paediatric first aid kit?
There is no standard kit that works for everyone in every environment. However, the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 have suggested that a minimum first aid kit for a low-risk environment such as a childminders or nursery contains:
- Individually wrapped sterile plasters of assorted sizes
- Sterile eye pads
- Individually wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile
- Safety pins
- Large and medium-sized sterile, individually wrapped, unmedicated wound dressings
- Disposable gloves
- a leaflet giving general guidance on first aid.
You may find it useful to include the latest edition of the First Aid Manual, our comprehensive guide to over 100 first aid situations.
Many childcare settings also carry ice packs which are really useful for all the bumps children get through playing and exploring. These can be stored in a first aid kit, although some do need to be kept chilled so check your manufacturer's guidelines.
Additional items you may identify in your first aid needs assessment and wish to include in your first aid kit include:
- Sterile cleansing wipes
- Hand sanitiser
- Microporous tape
- Sterile gauze swabs
It is recommended that the contents of your paediatric first aid kit be checked regular intervals to ensure it is fully stocked and any expired or damaged supplies are discarded and replaced. The items within your first aid kit should be sealed, clean, and in-date.
Should medication be kept in a paediatric first aid kit?
Medication should not be stored in a first aid kit, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used in a paediatric setting. First aid and the use of medication can cause confusion for many when looking at their first aid needs.
The Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework states that childcare providers must have a policy in place for administering medicines to the children in their care. This will include keeping systems up-to-date regarding children’s needs for medicines and providing training for staff where the administration of medicine requires medical or technical knowledge.
When working with children it may also be appropriate to have paracetamol syrup available for use if they are unwell and distressed.
Whatever medication policy you have in your workplace, it should be noted that medication (for example, paracetamol syrup) should NOT be kept in a paediatric first aid kit, but instead locked away in a separate cupboard out of reach from children.
All members of staff should be notified of where the first aid kit and medication is stored so that it is accessible to first aiders at all times but out of reach of children.
Providers are expected to keep a written record each time a medicine is administered to a child in their care, and inform the child’s parents/carers on the same day, or as soon as reasonably possible.
Prescription medicines must not be administered unless they have been prescribed for a child by a doctor, dentist, nurse, or pharmacist and must only be administered to a child where written permission for that particular medicine has been obtained from the child’s parent and/or carer.
Topics: Paediatric first aid