No one really wants to find themselves in the emergency room, but as most of us with kids know, a trip or ten throughout the years is inevitable. To make things easier on everyone, assemble family health kits specifically for trips to the emergency room. Then you can just grab and go.
This little bit of preparation can make the ill or injured person, and his or her companions, feel much better, especially when there is a car ride or a long wait in the emergency room.
Depending on the ages and stages of the members of your family, you may wish to assemble one or several health kits that will go with you, should you need to make a trip to the emergency room.
If you have members of your family with specific health conditions, you may want custom kits that address those particular issues.
Here is what our general emergency room prep kit looks like. It contains:
- A black dishpan to catch vomit. I learned quickly, that black is best, because it hides the mess. Line it with black plastic bags sized for a waste basket, if you can find them.
- Clean towels. It is best if they are old and soft.
- Instant hand warmers to keep a sick person warm.
- A small pillow.
- Detailed list of medications, allergies and surgeries.
- Back up copies of insurance information and primary care physician’s name and contact information.
- Entertainment (novels, new and small toys, puzzle books, crayons, mobile device with movies and games).
- Comfort objects (a photo, a blanket, a stuffed toy, a worry stone.)
- Notepad and pen.
- Cash for vending machines.
- Small snacks (but always check with nurses before allowing food to the patient).
To avoid looking as though you are actually moving in to the emergency room, permanently, you can usually keep most of the health kit supplies in the car, where they can be fetched as needed. Separating the items out can help with this. For example, I usually bundle the blanket, pillow and hand warmers together, and store them in the car, to be used if needed. If an emergency room visit requires an ambulance, those items will probably not be needed.
I have the towel folded into the dishpan, and then on top of that I place a backpack with the comfort items, entertainment, documents, snacks, the notepad and pen, and money. If there is no vomiting, the dishpan and towel can be left at behind.