10 Items Every First Aid Kit Should Contain
By Tim Lapkovski
An accident is an unexpected and unfortunate event that occurred as a result of a series of unforeseen negligence, lack of care and keenness to details and unmindfulness to consequences of actions. Of course, no one wants an accident to happen. No one admits to planning or even welcoming it. Something planned to cause hurt or accident is whole different story.
Like it or not, accidents do happen to the best of people and if it occurs, the only thing a person can do is to lessen the damage done. In diseases, of course, an ounce of prevention has always been better than a cure. But since accidents are inevitable events in ones life, one should always be ready to minimize the hurt caused by it.
Small but terrible, first aid kits are usually the saviors of people in pain if an accident struck them. These are compact kits that contain life- saving items from scissors, tweezers, bandages, gauzes, antibiotic creams, ointments to medications.
Most conscious people keep first aid kits wherever they are - at home, in their cars and at their workplace. Moreover, in events that are accident prone like camping and backpacking trips, sponsored missions (like medical missions), hunting and kayaking or simple field trips.
Of course, keeping first aid kits is not as easy as ABC. You have to know the rules and the essentials in keeping an effective first aid kit. The first you should bear in mind is the context of where and when you will use your first aid kit. If the kit will be based at your home, of course, you should be familiar with the kind of accidents that usually occur at home. If its for other purposes, the environment and activity will determine the contents of your kit and the number of people participating. In some other instances, improvising is very important in administering first aid because you just cannot have everything inside your kit.
It is also helpful to learn the three mechanisms of injury for the effective application of first aid. These are - trauma, environmental and medical. Having all these in mind, you are ready to start putting together your first aid kit.
The first in consideration is the kit itself. Again, environment plays an important role in identifying the kind of kit you need - its material and size. But the basics you should keep in mind are -
- Size - Is it roomy enough to carry all the items, keep it organized, not
- Durability - Is it strong enough to carry all the contents? Can it stand through
- Handiness - Can it be carried anywhere without the hassles?
- Accessibility - Can it easily be opened?
Second to consider is the contents of the kit. Try to think of the most
common accidents that may occur anywhere - at home, in night outs, roads and
accident prone missions. The most common to occur is wounds and splinters. Your
kits should include items that can attend to cuts, wounds and blisters of
- Wound care and cleansing materials - bandages, dressing (for traumas, those that would keep wound dry in wet environments), gauze pads, bandage strips, tapes and other kinds of tapes. Pre- soak pads should be well kept in appropriate containers. You also need to be familiar or review medical history before applying such first aid methods.
- Blister care - this can be prevented by administering care immediately. At the first sign of a hot spot, items such as molefoam, moleskin, first aid tapes should be within reach as these can prevent blisters from forming.
First aid kits also carry protection for those administering first aid like gloves, CPR masks and airways. Hardware too should be present such as -
- Survival gear
- Mirrorsignal device
- Plastic bags
- Lighterwaterproof matches
- Flashlight headlamp
- Survival blanket
- Heatcold packs
- Parachute cord
- Flagging tapes
Medications, as well, should not leave the kits as these are important to help wounds subside or treat other conditions -
- Dental medications
- Dental filing materials
- Antibiotic creamsointments
- Other special needs and medications
If you are simply starting to organize your first aid kit at home, you will need the 10 basic or essential contents such as -
- First- aid manual
- Gauze pads
- Butterfly bandages
- Medical adhesive tape
- Alcohol prep pads
- Iodine or similar prep pads
- Antibiotic ointment
- Aspirin andor non- aspirin pain relievers
- Tweezers and pins
After collecting all these items for your very own home- made first aid kit, organizing them in the container will be the next step. Ziplocks or other dividers that are waterproof will be a great help in organizing them. It would not hurt also if you can label them properly or color- code them so that they can be easily retrieved in case of emergency to lessen mistakes.
If you have successfully done all these, here are some additional precautionary steps you should take
- Review your medical history so that you will know what other items you can include in your kits.
- Read thoroughly your first- aid manual to understand the functions of all the items inside your kit and how to use them.
- First aid kits should be kept in an accessible place for adults to retrieve it as soon as an emergency arises but out of childrens reach.
- Periodically check the kits and be cautious of missing items that need to be replaced or expired medicines that need to be changed and purchased.
After learning all these, you are now ready to get started with your life- saving journey with the help of your first aid kit. You will see how you make life much easier and with a little less pain.
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