What’s in your parent bag?

By Carly Brake, Canadian Red Cross Digital Volunteer

So many changes happen when we become parents. Subsisting on 2 hours of sleep a night and copious coffee; falling in love with our children; cleaning near constant messes; embracing kids music that makes no sense. We’ve all been there.

We also become used to being prepared, because we’ve all learned the hard way what happens when we don’t. Over time, what starts out as a diaper bag evolves, but many of us still stay extra prepared. I now have a Mom Purse. The Mom Purse, or the Parent Bag, includes that little bit extra, to ensure that any outing goes as smoothly as possible.

family pictureIn the time before Matéo, our son, my purse was mainly to hold my wallet; money; lipstick; keys and phone. But now I always have my Mom accoutrements. My purse now includes wet naps or wipes; at least one snack (the ‘Hangry’ is real with this one); water (someone is bound to be thirsty); bandaids (what 3 year old doesn’t get scrapes?); and typically extra undies (hopefully not indefinitely).


Photo Credit: MalindaRosee Photography
I’ve also worked to maintain my First Aid training. I know my best bet in an emergency or injury to help my son, or anyone else, is to have the skills to take care of them. It’s the invisible item in my Mom Purse. My training helps me to feel confident (or at least not terrified) that I can handle a situation. During my last recertification, my Red Cross First Aid instructor, Yelena Zuck, talked about a few key items most of us can tuck into our daily bag to help someone sick and injured. And I realized that my Mom Purse had items that already support First Aid; and I could add in a few more easily without any real weight or space.

bagSo in addition to general items that support First Aid like a snack food; water; and bandaids; I’ve added in a few sugar packets for Type 1 diabetics and anyone with a hypoglycemic attack; a disposable face shield so I can comfortably do mouth to mouth resuscitation; and a pair of vinyl medical gloves so I can safely assist someone who’s bleeding.

It’s not the same as a full First Aid kit but it gives me enough to boost my comfort in responding to a medical emergency. Even, better, Yelena’s session included work on how to brainstorm to handle other injuries like breaks and sprains. Which helps me to realize my winter scarf could be fashioned into a sling for example.

My final First Aid item in my Mom Purse is the Canadian Red Cross’s First Aid app and Be Ready app on my phone. It’s a true treasure trove of resources on how to handle emergencies.

So what’s in your Parent Bag?

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