First-Aid Kits: Your Best Friend in Emergencies

A well-stocked first-aid kit is very important in responding effectively in cases of minor emergencies. First-aid kits are a must in the home, in the car, in schools and most especially at work, where people are vulnerable to a lot of injuring agents. Since injuries can happen anytime and anywhere, it is advisable that families have a first-aid kit in their homes and another one in the car.

First-aid kits can be purchased in any drug stores or any Red Cross stations. If preferred, any durable, light-weight, easy to carry containers can also serve as your first-aid kit. Just make sure it has enough room of all the essentials and that it is simple to open. Tackle boxes and other plastic containers would usually do fine since they are quite roomy, light-weight and easy to transport.

First-aid kits are to be stored in places readily accessible to the family such as the living room, dining room, or kitchen, where injuries such as cuts and burns could occur. Also, the place of storage is cool and dry, since direct sunlight and moisture can alter the composition of some medications in the kit. Make sure it is not within reach of young children while older children should be taught on the purpose of a first-aid kit and its location.

Here is a list of the basic items a first-aid kit should contain:

Instruments Medications/Solutions Miscellaneous
Sterile gauze and dressings
For skin injuries such as open wounds or burns
Antibiotic and antiseptic solutions
Reduces possibility of infection
First-aid manual
Bandages and plasters
For fractures, dislocations
Activated charcoal
Adsorbent of poisons
Spare container for waste disposal
Scissors, tweezers
For cutting and holding objects
Aloe vera gel
Healing and soothing properties
Emergency numbers (112/999, family doctor, poison control)
Micropore tape, safety pins
For secure adhesion
Anti-diarrheal medications
Replace lost fluids and electrolytes
Waterproof flashlight with extra batteries
Cotton balls and swabs
Cleaning or disinfecting agents
Oral antihistamine
Allergy relief
Candles and matches
Sterile and clean gloves
Protection of the rescuer
Pain relievers Medical history forms for each family member
Cold packs Calamine lotion
Anti-itch
Medical consent forms for each family member
Water bags Hydrocortisone creams
Relief of inflammation
Blankets
Digital thermometer Cough medicine
Splint
For immobilization of injured part
Nasal sprays
Decongestants
Syringes, medicine cups or spoon
Containers of medication
Epinephrine
For anaphylaxis
Lubricant Personal medications

After stocking your first-aid kits, make sure that you have read and understood the first-aid manual to know how to use the contents of the kit. Share this information with other responsible family members. Plan the storage location of your first-aid kit with your family. Make sure all the equipments are in working order and that all medications or solutions are not expired. In case of expiration or usage of any equipment or medication, replace it right away. Check your first-aid kit regularly to make sure everything is in working order. Keep a list of all the materials in the kit for quick reference.

When stocked and used properly, a first-aid kit becomes a valuable item that can save lives.