Emergencies can happen anytime. But the thing about emergencies is that you can never know when they will happen. That said, the only thing we can do is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
This does not mean, however, that you can not do anything about something you can’t tell will/won’t happen. That said, you need to stock up on essential items, medical treatment, and useful supplies, to be ready when an accident or emergency does take place.
12 Things to Stick in Your First-Aid Kit
Of course, you can always go to the drug store and purchase a first aid kit, but it’s better to create your own based on you and your family’s health and medical needs. This way, you can personalize your supplies and at the same time, work within your budget.
Before you start looking for what you can stock in your first aid kit, make sure to have a durable and portable container where you can store your items. It has to be big enough to accommodate all the essentials and portable enough to bring it with you whenever and wherever you need it.
Having a first aid kit is essential in every home. It can help you treat minor injuries from burns, cuts, sprains, to animal bites and scratches. It should also have medicines for fever and other ailments such as viral infections, allergies, gastrointestinal and skin problems, mild pain, and other common ailments. If you’re ready to stock yours, check out the list of the things to include in your kit below…
1. Sterile Gloves
Open wounds are difficult to look at, but they’re not a big problem to deal with. For as long as you keep the site clean and treated properly, you’re going to be fine. And one of the things you need to tend to these kinds of injuries is a pair of sterile gloves. These provide extra protection, creating a germ-free barrier between you and the person you are treating. For safe measure, make sure that you keep at least two (2) pairs in stock.
2. Scissors and Tweezers
There’s nothing fancy you’ll be doing with your pair of scissors and tweezers except for cutting tapes and keeping bandages in place. You may – if you’re up for it – use the tweezers to pick up dirt and debris off open wounds, but anything you feel is beyond your skills and ability to deal with must be referred to someone who’s specially trained for it like a nurse or a family doctor. The idea is just to be able to handle things as cleanly and as germ-free as possible.
3. Sanitizing Agent
When there are wounds to clean, you need to have disinfectants ready. For this reason, make sure that you include a mild antiseptic in your first aid kits such as hydrogen peroxide or antibiotic towelettes.
4. Antibiotic Ointment
After you’ve cleaned up the wound, make sure to apply antibiotic ointment on the site to help prevent infection, and for faster healing. Remember, the faster a wound heals, the lesser the chances of scarring.
5. Cold Compress
One of the easiest things you can do to treat minor burns, sprains, insect stings, and other injuries, is to apply an instant cold compress, so make sure to have this item in your kit.
6. Pain Relievers
Everyone’s bound to experience some aches and pains in the body due to fatigue, stress, a minor injury, or infection. But the good news is these can all be easily dealt with at home – through the use of some common pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. Just make sure to use the ones that are approved or prescribed by your doctor.
7. Adhesive Bandages, Gauze, and Tape
There’s no telling how serious a wound you can get from an injury. Its shape, size, and length can greatly vary. That said, it’s important to have different sizes of bandages and gauze in your first aid kit. These will be essential in keeping the wound site protected and free from germs, which could cause infection – something you need to prevent at all cost!
8. Elastic Wraps
If in case you twist or hurt your ankle, knee, wrist, or elbow, you can use an elastic wrap to help stabilize the injured part and make sure the swelling is well managed.
9. Triangular Bandages
There’s a reason why boys and girls scouts have those triangular scarves they wear as part of their uniforms. And that is to use this piece of cloth as a bandage to help treat injuries such as dislocated (or broken) arms and shoulders by stabilizing the affected part. Moreover, these bandages can be used as a towel or tourniquet, as needed. But of course, if you can’t do this yourself, make sure to contact for help or ask someone who can confidently perform this for the injured person.
10. Prescription Medications
Members of the family can have different kinds of conditions from allergies, asthma, to more complicated cases such as diabetes, hypertension, and blood conditions. For these reasons, it’s important to keep a stock of the prescribed medications such as asthma inhalers, insulin, heart as well as allergy medications you may need to use during an emergency or in case of a calamity. Also, it would be a smart idea to include a list of each family member’s allergies and medications for easy reference, as well.
11. First Aid Manual
You don’t have to know everything in case an accident or emergency happens, but you need to have the presence of mind to look/ask for help and use your resources at home such as those inside your first aid kit to immediately do what you can when an accident or injury takes place.
For this reason, having a printed or hand-written manual with details of how to use each item in the kit would be essential. Of course, take time to study the contents of this manual so that you’d at least have an idea of what you’d find in it or where to look for the info you need in case the situation requires you to do so.
Also, be sure to go through the contents with your family, baby sitter or caregiver, so that you can expect others to have some idea of what they can and should do in case an unexpected incident takes place.
12. Emergency Phone Numbers
And last but certainly not least, make sure to keep a list of emergency phone numbers in your kit. The information included should have that of your local health unit, ambulance, fire department, and police station. Moreover, the list should contain the contact details of your doctors and other persons that should be notified in case of emergencies such as relatives, close friends, and neighbors.
Aside from preparing the above-listed items and supplies, here are some more tips to take note of regarding your first ad kit:
1. Prepare multiple kits.
After you’ve packed your first kit, the next step would be to make some more so that you can also have one in your car, office, and other places you usually go to. This way, in case an accident or emergency happens, you know that you have something prepared and can use to deal with it as best as you can.
2. Take note of expiration dates.
Since you’re keeping fresh supplies in your kits such as gloves and medicines, make sure you check each item’s expiration dates so you can use them without any issues in case you’d ever need them.
3. Include a phone card.
Another thing you can do is to include a prepaid load card in your kit, especially if you are going to travel. In case you run out of load – or if you might need to use someone else’s phone – having a prepaid load card would definitely become handy if ever you need to make emergency phone calls.
4. Keep it close to your “survival bag”.
Taking it a step further, make sure that your “survival bag” where all your basic necessities like food, water, and fresh clothing are packed also has a first aid kit in case you need to evacuate right away. This might seem a lot of work, but just by organizing and bringing all things essential only, you can prepare a bag that’s optimized for cases of emergency, disaster, and rapid evacuation.
There you have it! As mentioned earlier, there’s really no telling when an accident, emergency, or calamity will strike. That said, the only thing we can do is prepare for what we actually might need in case these things happen. And if there’s one thing we should learn from the global crisis we’re experiencing right now, is that setting a lot of safety precautions and measures can go a long way and could potentially save your life as well as others! So preparing ahead such as a first aid kit is not being pessimistic, rather, it’s being proactive – knowing that there is and will always be something we can do to make things better or manage problems accordingly.