So long story, very short: In March of 2014 "Boo" fell at a playground and broke his leg. To be exact it was a spiral fracture of the upper femur bone. Why yes, that IS the biggest bone in the body. And YES it is extremely scary to have a then 25 month old in an emergency room for 5 hours, only to be transferred to a larger hospital for surgery in the next morning. Surgery. That word made me want to vomit and punch someone all at the same time. It was only until I was told no cutting would be involved that the 'punchy' feeling subsided a little. Luckily, we have access to the best children's hospital in our area and everyone treated my little rebel like a Jedi Knight. Largely, the hospital experience pretty much sucked. Your stressed and tired and extremely emotional. I have to say this, a huge shout out and lots of hugs an thanks your have to go to the incredible staff at Florida Hospital for Children. All of the docs and nurses were amazing and totally put us at ease (well, as much as they could.)
It just so happens we had been traveling earlier that month by car down to the Keys and I had packed an emergency roadside kit for traveling with toddlers. It was still in my car! Needless to say, I literally always have it with me now. It has a permeant home in my vehicle along with an additional "go bag." I think this really was what helped keep my sanity. Our first night in the hospital was a long one and I found the kit to be a total life saver for both of us, but looking back on the experience now I know that had I not had some forethought in packing these things the less focused I could have been on all of the commotion happening around us and keeping up with the utter chaos of having a kiddo i the hospital really is for a parent. I just cannot tell you how much my heart goes out to all of the parents that have to deal with this as their "normal." I just kept saying to myself "it's just a broken leg, its just a broken leg, thank God it's just a broken leg."
You should know this about me: I'm a research junkie. I am totally addicted to Pinterest and I Google things constantly. So when it was time to take a 5 hour road trip with my Mom and Boo I was looking for ideas of what could make the ride feel less like hell on earth and more like a slight pain in the ass. I am also a planner to the Nth degree and prefer to have a solid plan of action laid out before me, rather than jump into too much blindfolded and head first. You never know whats going to happen when you have child. I mean, really…how many times have you been caught out without a diaper and wipes or a change of clothes and then IT happens and when IT happens IT happens all over you, your child and any innocent bystander or freestanding objects within a 100 yard radius? Yeah…A LOT. So, i really wanted to avoid this and by being over prepared i was able to turn this unmitigated disaster into a somewhat bare able situation.
So lets get to it. Here's what i packed as an emergency kit that then turned into my hospital surveil kit. As a bonus, I'll also throw in what I pack in my regular "go bag." Both of these things have come in handy on multiple occasions. Remember this is just for one toddler and one adult.
- Honest Company Hand Sanitizer
- Tylenol or Motrin and measuring cup
- Anti-"bad tummy" meds like Pepto
- 2 Diapers or pull on training pants and a travel pack size of wipes.
- 2 spare pairs of underwear for kiddo and one for grown up (better safe than sorry)
- Tiny Portable Humidifier
- Benadryl or any other allergy meds etc.
- A 2 day supply of any supplements you and your family may take regularly. We like Zarbee's brand.
- Travel pack of tissues
- Aquaphor has multiple uses
- Arnicare is great for bruises and bumps
- small pair of scissors
- wash cloth
- a toothbrush and toothpaste for each of us
- electrolyte packs for water like NUUN
- spare plastic bags
- a kitchen size trash bag
- Boogie Wipes
- Sunscreen (we LOVE MD Moms)
- These are really handy! Johnson's Head-to-Toe Washcloths
- lavender oil (great for stress relief)
- Kids plate, spoon, fork, and cup
- and some travel sized paper towels
- phone charger
- batteries (2 AA, 2 AAA)
I pack all of this into a clear plastic tub and it never leaves my car. I cannot tell you how useful this has been. Not only in our worst times but in some of our best, too.
Bonus: "The Go-Bag"
This idea came about AFTER "the incident" and now I swear by it. I keep a tote bag packed and hanging somewhere easily accessible in emergencies.
- kiddo cotton pj's (we love Hanna Anderson)
- adult change of clothes (think yoga pants and a cotton t-shirt)
- kiddo socks
- adult socks
- phone charger
- non-perishable snacks
- brita water bottle
- grab and go fun packs
- Honest 3 in 1 Facial wipes
I try to separate and pack things into gallon size baggies. This makes it easier to use what I need and leave the rest and to repack for the next outting or emergency.
I am taking suggestions to improve the emergency kit and go-bag, but I hope you find this helpful and i really hope you never have to use it in a circumstance like we did.