By Nancy Gottesman

When considering items to include in a first-aid kit for your home, gauze, bandages and children’s pain relievers are naturals. But you’ll also want items that help reduce your child’s stress—here’s where Scooby Doo and Dora the Explorer can come in handy.

For minor cuts and scrapes: Elizabeth C. Powell, M.D., M.P.H., of the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Division of Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, recommends a Hershey’s Kiss and a character bandage. “Sometimes kids are more relaxed and tolerant having Spider-Man on their arm or leg,” she says.

Colorful ice packs in fun shapes can wipe away tears and fears, too. Try a dinosaur or starfish, like they have here. ($9.95)

For one-stop shopping: Check out the Medibag, which looks like a toy doctor’s kit. Inside its plastic case are stickers, blue gloves, Crayola Crayon bandages—all the basics in kidpleasing forms ($19.99). Click here to buy.

Here are the basics for any family first-aid kit, according to the American Red Cross and the experts we spoke to:

» Bandages
» Adhesive medical tape
» Antibiotic ointment
» Antiseptic wipes
» Children’s pain reliever (ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
» Instant cold compress
» Hydrocortisone ointment
» 4×4-inch gauze
» Oral thermometer (rectal thermometer for kids under age 2)
» Tweezers
» Children’s Benadryl

The essential (and non-essential) items you need.

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