Do we need a first aid kit?
On a previous post I write about the essential home medical equipment that we need and there we identified the first aid kit as a basic part of it. And we are not the only ones, Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org/) and all the National Health Services also recommend to have emergency medical equipment at home.
Wikipedia defines first aid kit as:
“A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment for use in giving first aid, and can be put together for the purpose by an individual or organization or purchased complete. There is a wide variation in the contents of first aid kits based on the knowledge and experience of those putting it together, the differing first aid requirements of the area where it may be used and variations in legislation or regulation in a given area”
Now, it is time to try to decide what has to be on that first aid kit. The options are numerous and first we have to decide if buy it online or at a near drugstore and choose between one that fits with our needs or assemble our own. Both options are fine and always remember to tailor your kit based on your activities and needs.
It’s important to have a well-stocked first aid kit in your home so you can deal with minor accidents and injuries. Which are those accidents? That will be the topic on a future post.
So, the basic content related to accidents and injuries is:
- Absorbent compress dressings
- Adhesive bandages (multiple sizes)
- Adhesive cloth tape
- Antibiotic ointment packets
- Antiseptic wipe packets
- Bandage strips and “butterfly” bandages in assorted sizes
- Breathing barrier
- Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs
- Eye shield or pad
- Instant cold compress
- Non latex gloves
- Hydrocortisone ointment packets
- Roller bandages (more than one size)
- Soap or hand sanitizer
- Sterile gauze pads
- 2 triangular bandages
- Turkey baster or other bulb suction device for flushing wounds
Sometimes I am sick
That happens to everyone. A cold a flu or any other common disease of your area can catch you and you will have some basic medications at home.
- Aloe vera gel
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Calamine lotion
- Cough and cold medications
- Painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant paracetamol for children), aspirin (not to be given to children under 16), or ibuprofen
- Thermometer, preferably digital (non-mercury/nonglass)
- Any other personal medications that you or your family members need
Other first aid tools
There are a few things that you can add to your home first aid kit, keeping them into it or close to its storage place.
- Basic medical history forms for each family member
- Emergency phone numbers
- Insect repellant
- In some countries you will need medical consent forms for each family member
- Small notepad and waterproof writing instrument
- Small, waterproof flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
- Waterproof matches
Take care of your first aid kit
You must check your first aid kit regularly and be sure that everything that need batteries works properly and Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents.
Finally, it is highly recommended to get some formation about emergency assistance and make children familiar with the first aid kit and prepare them for medical emergencies in age-appropriate ways. Consider taking a first-aid course through the Red Cross is always a good option. Also, it is a good idea to have a basic first aid handbook or instruction booklet with your first aid kit.