Is your family prepared for a medical urgency or emergency? Do you have the essential items available if someone you love has an accident or injury? A well-stocked first aid kit is essential for handling emergencies.
What is a first aid kit?
A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment that can be used to provide medical treatment in the event of an injury or illness. First aid kits typically contain items such as bandages, gauze, scissors, tweezers, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, cotton balls, safety pins, latex gloves, a thermometer, etc. Most first aid kits also come with a first aid manual that provides instructions on how to use the items in the kit.
While first aid kits can be purchased pre-assembled from many different retailers, it’s also possible to create your own custom kit. When creating your own first aid kit, be sure to include items that will be appropriate for the type of injuries or illnesses that you’re likely to encounter. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of allergies, you may want to include antihistamines in your kit. If you live in an area with a lot of snake bites, you may want to include a snake bite kit. If you have children in your home, stock up on those bandages!
Important items in your first aid kit
Some items should always be stocked in your first aid kit. For example, reusable bandages, gauze, and tape are used to treat cuts and scrapes and hold ice packs in place to reduce swelling. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, are great to have on hand, and you may want to include antihistamines in case of an allergic reaction. It’s also a good idea to keep a list of emergency numbers, such as the number for poison control or your local hospital.
Many first aid kids contain antiseptic wipes, which are good for cleaning surfaces such as countertops or door handles, but we don’t recommend using antiseptic wipes for wound cleaning. Nor should you use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. The best thing for cleaning a wound is actually tap water and lots of it, with a little soap if needed. To prevent infection after cleaning and dressing a wound, we recommend bacitracin, not triple antibiotic ointment.
In addition to these common essentials, we recommend benzoin tincture to protect wounded skin from irritation and infection, as well as steri-strips for closing/bandaging wounds. Vaseline or aquafor are great for keeping the wound area moist and helping it to heal with minimal scarring.
What common injuries should you be prepared for?
There are a few different types of injuries that you should be prepared for when assembling your first-aid kit, including cuts and scrapes, burns, insect bites and stings, and sprains and strains.
When is it time to call for more help?
There are certain situations when you should definitely call 911, such as:
-If someone is unconscious or not breathing
-If someone is having a seizure
-If someone is bleeding heavily
-If someone has a severe allergic reaction
If you’re unsure whether or not you should call 911, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. When in doubt, call for help!
A first-aid kit is an essential part of any home, and it should be well-stocked and easily accessible. By keeping a few key items on hand, you can be prepared for minor injuries and illnesses, and potentially save a life. Be sure to keep your first-aid kit updated and check expiration dates regularly.