First-aid kit for children

By Natascha Hövener, August 2013

Marie gets hurt playing on the beach, Jannis falls off his bike, Paul suddenly develops a fever – even on holiday health and illness are often not far apart in children. That is why it is worthwhile putting together a first-aid kit to be able to give rapid assistance for minor illnesses and small accidents. Nevertheless, if the complaints are more serious and persistent, the advice of a doctor should be sought even when away from home.

First aid for minor accidents: Arnica montana.

Gastrointestinal problems

When nausea and dizziness occur together in so-called “travel sickness”, Nausyn tablets (Weleda) are a good choice. In general, the poison nut (Nux vomica) works well for nausea, vomiting and stomach ache, while nutmeg (Nux moschata) has a calming and relaxing effect. Nux vomica comp. (Weleda) is thus an indispensible part of the first-aid kit when travelling. If there is slight or acute diarrhoea, Carbo betula (birch charcoal) can bring relief – it should not, however, be used for children under twelve (Weleda, capsules).

When to visit the doctor? If infants vomit or have diarrhoea, if children constantly vomit and cannot keep anything down, if there are further symptoms such as fever, diarrhoea, earache and apathy, if there is vomiting after an accident, if there is persistent stomach ache in the navel area or the right side of the lower abdomen (suspected appendicitis), if the diarrhoea does not improve after two days, if there are additional symptoms such as circulatory complaints and severe weight loss.

Sunburn and insect bites

Sun is, of course, a part of any holiday, but what to do if the child’s delicate skin has nevertheless got slight sunburn? Combudoron Gel (Weleda) helps for minor burns, scalding and sunburn. The gel cools and alleviates the pain and supports the regeneration of the skin. The gel can also be used for insect bites and counters inflammations. In addition, treatment can be continued with Wund- und Brandgel (Wala) particularly when there is itching. With sunburn, sufficient fluid and salt intake should be ensured.

When to visit the doctor? In the event of severe sunburn with blistering and/or if there is additionally nausea, circulatory complaints, shivering fits, fever or disorientation. Also if infants have burns, the burns are on the face, if clothing has stuck to the wound, if there are extensive burns, if there are insect bites in the oral cavity or on the eyelid – and go straight to the emergency doctor especially if there is an allergic reaction to an insect bite!

First-aid for minor accidents

For smaller scrapes or cuts calendula helps to heal the wound quickly and regenerate the skin, for example Calendula Wundsalbe (Weleda). Another preparation is Calcea Wund- und Heilcreme (Wala). After initial treatment, the wound should always be given a dry and sterile covering. Check: is tetanus protection still active? Quick first aid for blunt injuries is offered by arnica: it relieves pain and quickly makes swellings and bruising recede. Injured tissue is regenerated and the healing process is supported. Quick treatment is important: arnica is more effective the more quickly it is used. Arnica is available as a – pleasantly cooling – gel (Weleda), wipes (Wala) and also as an essence for a compress. The essence should not be used for children under the age of one. Arnica can also be given internally as pillules for bruises and contusions at all ages: Arnica e planta tota D6 Globuli velati (Wala). Sprains and pulled muscles generally heal faster if the affected area is cooled for 30 to 45 minutes. A cloth between the ice pack or cool compress and the skin protects the skin against frostbite. The affected part of the body should also be kept up to help the swelling go down.

When to visit the doctor? If there is strong bleeding or the wounds are very dirty, if there are bite injuries, chemical burns or electrical accidents, head or eye injuries, severe suppuration, deep injuries or if a foreign object as penetrated deeply or if there is insufficient tetanus protection. With blunt injuries, the doctor should be seen if the swelling has occurred very severely and fast and is very painful, if movement is clearly restricted, if there is a joint or head injury or if broken bones are suspected.

Colds

Children are not necessarily protected against colds in warm climates, it is easy to catch a flu-like illness when travelling. There are of course many different anthroposophical or homoeopathic medicines against the various symptoms – a good basis for the first-aid kit is certainly Ferrum phosphoricum comp. Streukügelchen (Weleda) or Meteoreisen Globuli velati (Wala). If the pillules are taken in good time on the first signs of a cold, they can often prevent or reduce a full outbreak. Even with the full onset of a cold the pillules activate the processes in the body with which the organism counters inflammations.

When to visit the doctor? When the symptoms indicate that it is a “real” flu, if the temperature persists at over 39°C for a longer period, if there are seizures, breathing difficulties, phlegm, great feelings of weakness or shivering fits – and of course also if one is uncertain in general.

About the author: Natascha Hövener is the press spokesman of Dachverband Anthropo­sophische Medizin in Deutschland (DAMiD)

Foto: © botanikus

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