It is essential for every home to have a first aid kit. It is a
collection of materials and tools which can be used to administering first aid. First aid is the immediate and temporary care administered to a victim of an accident or sudden illness before medical emergency assistance can be given. First aid aims to save life, prevent further damage, and maintain strength and develop an infection.
Purpose of First Aid Kits
First aid kits should be found everywhere, in work, school, workplace and every public place. It should be kept within reach at all times, as an emergency situation may arise any time of the day at any place. The purpose of first aid kits include:
- Be prepared for every medical situation
- Respond effectively to common injuries and medical emergencies
Contents of First Aid Kits
Contents of first aid kits vary on the extent of knowledge and experience of the first aider. Henceforth, it is highly recommended to take First Aid Training and CPR courses. Every home should have the essentials, but vacation trips may require more supplies and equipment. It may be better to purchase a first aid kit from institutions and organizations like workplace approved to already have a complete kit, but if one prefers to buy own equipment, here are the essentials to be found in a well-stocked first aid kit:
- Clean, waterproof containers
- May be plastic boxed, fabric pouches or in wall mounted cabinets
- Easy to carry and simple to open
- Necessary to keep contents safe and free from contaminants
- Basic supplies
- First aid instruction manual
- Sterile gauze pads and roller gauze in different sizes
- Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic solution
- Sterile eyewash, such as saline solution
- Bandage and bandage strips in different sizes
- Triangular bandage
- Safety pin in various sizes
- Pairs of disposable gloves
- Adhesive tape
- Instant cold packs
- Plastic bags for contaminated materials
- Scissors and tweezers
- Soap or instant hand sanitizer
- Lubricants such as petroleum jelly
- Auto-injector of epinephrine or other drugs for severe allergic attacks
- Aspirin and other pain reliever medicines
- Activated charcoal
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Calamine lotion
- Syringe or medicine cup
- Aloe Vera gel
- Emergency items
- Emergency phone numbers of family doctor, emergency medical services, etc.
- Small, waterproof flashlight and extra batteries
- Candles and matches
- Emergency space blanket
After Stocking First Aid Kits
- Read the first aid manual to understand the contents of the kit. Again, however, this does not substitute for taking first aid classes, which is still more advantageous.
- Store in area that are out of reach from children. It may be placed in the kitchen as many activities are done here.
- Regularly check the kits for missing items or expired items.
- Check flashlight batteries to make sure they work.
If one is flying, ensure that the first aid kit is packed in the checked luggage as many items are not allowed in the carry-on bags.