Thursday, July 30, 2015
Accidents can arise just about anywhere and at any time, so it is really important that you are prepared should they happen. Whether it’s a cut, a burn or something a bit more serious, having a first aid kit can be the difference between a little and a lot of pain.
First of all, you may wonder where you should keep your first aid kit. You don’t need to worry about having a personal first aid kit in your workplace or at school, because it is a legal requirement for those places to have their own first aid kit. In terms of personal use, the two most important places are in your home and your car.
Having a kit in your home means that minor injuries can be treated quickly and easily. It is also important to have one in your car, so that you have a kit wherever you travel to. With a first aid kit in your car, you will also be able to help others too if an emergency arises.
When you are thinking about where to store your first aid kit, try keeping it in a place nearby to where you will need it most. Obviously, you could need it anywhere, but the kitchen can be a good idea, as it is usually a central location and near potential hazards.
The kit needs to be kept out of reach of children too, because of the items it contains, but still in a reasonable position for ease of use. Also, remember to store your first aid kit in a cool, dry place.
So what should you have in your first aid kit and what do you need to stock up on?
- Plasters in a variety of different sizes and shapes to protect a wound.
- Small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings, so that you can control and prevent further bleeding or infection in a wound.
- You need to have at least two sterile eye dressings, eyewash and eye bath, to prevent eye infections.
- Triangular bandages, so that a sling can be made if necessary.
- Crêpe rolled bandages in order to support a sprain.
- Safety pins are needed to ensure that bandages are kept securely in place.
- You will need a pair of disposable sterile gloves for protection when tending to wounds, so as not to spread the infection.
- Tweezers are essential to remove objects from a wound, such as splinters or grit.
- Scissors are required for the cutting of bandages into an appropriate size.
- Alcohol-free cleansing wipes to cleanse a wound that could be open to infection.
- Sticky tape is needed to secure bandages.
- Make sure you have a thermometer (preferably digital) so you are able to check body temperature.
- Antihistamine tablets to reduce swelling or symptoms of an allergic reaction.
- Skin rash cream, such as hydrocortisone or calendula to limit further reactions.
- Cream or spray to help treat insect bites and stings.
- Antiseptic cream to treat a wound.
- Painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant paracetamol for children), aspirin (do not give to children under 16) or ibuprofen to limit the feeling of pain.
- Cough medicine for any trouble with the chest.
- Keep some distilled water for cleaning wounds and washing the wound to remove any debris.
This is everything that you will need in a basic first aid kit. You can add to this list with more sophisticated equipment, or anything that might be relevant to specific health issues within your family.
Remember that a first aid kit isn’t a substitute for urgent medical care and if a situation is too severe or escalates quickly, then urgent medical care should be sought as soon as possible.
However, first aid kits are an essential item to keep in your home and car and have the potential to prevent an injury from becoming more serious and can limit infection.