You will never know the importance of a first aid kit until you encounter an emergency. A first aid kit is a small box or bag that contains items such as antiseptic wipes, gloves or bandages that can be used in case of an emergency or an accident while awaiting full medical attention.
These kits can be bought at medical centres and some chain stores. You can have a first aid kit for your home, car, school, at the workplace and any other common places that people visit like malls. The following are important things to include in your kit;
- Plasters/Band-aids – These are used for small cuts and grazes. There are different types, and you can choose the ones that match your skin tone. You can buy them singly in convenient stores, but it is important to have them stocked inside your kit.
- Sterile wound dressing – This is a sterile pad attached to a bandage. They are used to stop bleeding by applying pressure on the wounds.
- Alcohol-free cleansing wipes – These are used for cleaning the skin around the wound.
- Disposable gloves – How important are these? They are used to reduce the risk of infection between you and the person you are helping. Any time you are dealing with body fluids, it is crucial to wear gloves.
- Thermometer – This is used in measuring body temperature.
- Scissors and tweezers – scissors are used to cut bandages and sticky tapes to the required sizes
- Clips and pins – These are used to hold bandages and fastening loose ends.
- Flashlight – Suppose the accident occurs at night or in a dark place, a flashlight will come in handy at this point.
- Painkillers and some over the counter drugs – These can be used as a quick solution to ease intense pains as the patient waits for advanced medical attention. You can have some like paracetamol or aspirin.
- Distilled water – This is water that does not have any impurities. It can be used in cleaning wounds and other tools before sterilizing them.
- Emergency details – The kit should include emergency contact details. This can be used to call for help.
If the kit is to be used at home, ensure that you place it in a central location where users can easily reach it but away from kids. It should be placed in a cool and dry place. Check the expiry dates on all items and replace them once they are expired. Generally, check the first aid kit regularly and replace used items. It may also be useful to keep a basic first aid manual or instruction booklet with your first aid kit.
After stocking the kit, read the user manual and if you have kids that are old enough, go through the manual with them and have them understand the contents and their uses.
In general, you must know how to use the items in the kit, and also learn how to perform first aid in different emergencies. The contents in your first aid kit should be based on the needs of the users. For first aid, remember the following goals;
- Preserve life – try your best to keep the person alive.
- Prevent further injury – Handle the person that is hurt with a lot of care. Try not to move the injured person until when it is necessary.
- Promote recovery – Help the injured person get better.
For first aid at home, have basic tips on how to carry out first aid on accidents such as burns, cuts, asthma or diabetic attacks, CPR and bites.
You can learn about first aid from books, manuals, and online videos.