What You Need to Have in Your First Aid Kit
There’s no way around it: a well-stocked first aid kit is essential for dealing with all of life’s little mishaps. The American Red Cross recommends having a first aid kit in your home, and another in your car. Wait, you’re saying you don’t have a first aid kit? You’re not alone. You’re also missing out on a great opportunity to have essential first aid supplies close at hand. While you can tailor your kit to include items that are specific to your family’s needs, there are some basic supplies that every kit should have. Get a sturdy, easy to open container (a tackle box works great), and get ready to start packing.
First Aid Essentials that No Kit Should Be Without
Deal with cuts, scrapes, or other injuries by having a big variety of bandages on hand. Start with roller bandages: a 3 inch wide and a 4 inch wide will give you variety. Next, add an assortment of adhesive bandages, 2 5×9 absorbent compress dressings, a roll of adhesive cloth tape, and 2 triangular bandages. You should also include a few different sizes of sterile gauze pads and several butterfly bandages.
Having the right first aid tools on hand will make it easier to correctly use your supplies. Pack 2 pairs of large nonlatex gloves and one pair of tweezers. A non-glass oral thermometer can be extremely useful, as can a pair of scissors. An aluminum finger split can keep broken or sprained digits in place until you reach medical help, and a first-aid manual is absolutely essential. A warm blanket stored near your kit can help keep you warm, especially if you have an emergency on the road. Finally, consider keeping a breathing barrier on hand in case someone requires CPR.
Antiseptics and Antibiotics
Include antiseptic and antibiotic products in your first aid kit to help prevent infection. You can find antiseptic sprays and wipes at your drugstore, as well as antibiotic ointments. Both can easily be applied to small cuts and scrapes. Apply your ointment or spray before using a bandage to ensure everything heals up nicely.
While there’s no need to pack an entire pharmacy in your first aid kit, there are a few medications that are worth having on hand. Pack a bottle of eye drops, a pain reliever (like aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen), a fever reducer (your pain reliever can do double duty here), and an antihistamine cream. Remedies for digestive problems can leave you or your patient much more comfortable, so pack kaopectate and antacid if you have room.
Aloe vera gel is so useful for treating mild cuts, scrapes, and burns that the Farmer’s Almanac calls it a self-regenerating first-aid kit. Even master gardeners can’t grow an aloe plant in a plastic box, though, so try the next best thing – a bottle of Earth’s Daughter aloe vera gel. Aloe vera earns its place in a first aid kit by relieving pain from mild burns, by helping to heal small cuts and scrapes, and by helping to reduce scar formation.
Planning ahead with a well-stocked first aid kit can make a big difference in an emergency situation. Create a kit that suits your needs, and above all else, stay safe!