Are you trying to make your first aid kit but don’t know where to start? Or are you trying to buy a kit from the market and are having trouble picking the right one? Whatever the case may be, we are here to equip you with the information you need to make the best choice for yourself.
Created in 1888, first-aid kits have proven to be one of the most revolutionary ideas in the healthcare sector. Initially catered towards railroad workers, the novel first aid kits, released by Johnson’s and Johnson’s, were meant to provide primary care to the injured workers in the time it took to contact a medical professional. These commercially released kits turned out to be a huge success, greatly increasing the chances of survival for the workers.
We have come a long way from the first-aid kits of the 19th century. These days a variety of first-aid kits are available in the market, catering to a multitude of different situations. From burn and diabetes kits to camping and travel kits, you are sure to find a first-aid kit that suits your requirements. And of course, you can always create your own personalized first-aid kit that is customized according to your specific needs.
The purpose of first aid is to provide primary care for injuries and other health issues to:
- prevent deterioration
- preserve life
- aid healing
- relieve pain
- protect the unconscious
A good first aid kit would be customized according to the needs of the person and situation. However, there are a few basic items that are essential for every first-aid kit. The kit itself can be in box or bag form and it is helpful for the container to be water-resistant to ensure the protection of all its contents. Below we will go over the 8 essential items you should have in your first aid kit.
Your First Aid kit Essentials Checklist
1) First aid manual
First-aid kits are a valuable resource to have for providing care to the injured. However, a tool is just as good as the person who wields it. A first-aid kit would be useless in the hands of someone who does not know how to provide first-aid. Therefore, it is valuable for there to be a manual included in every first-aid kit that can be consulted in cases of emergency to inform the user of the necessary steps for providing care. It should contain information regarding caring for wounds, treating burns, managing fractures, and sprains, etc.
2) Important documents
First-aid kits should contain a list of contact numbers of relatives and emergency services, in case of an emergency. It should also contain information regarding medical histories, prescribed medication, allergies, and other relevant medical documents that could be useful to inform medical professionals of all the important things they would need to consider while providing medical care.
3) Environmental Protection
Some basic environmental protection is always needed. These include sunscreen for skin protection against the ultraviolet rays of the sun and insect repellant to protect against insect bites. Make sure to have such environmental protection medicines in your first aid kit.
You might encounter a situation where you need to clean your hands, but water or soap is unavailable. In the case of an injury, you may need to clean the wound before treatment. For this purpose, having some form of antiseptic is essential. You should also keep some form of disinfectant to sanitize tools or surfaces in your first aid kit. Alcohol pads can serve all three purposes. Other products can be store-bought hand sanitizers, peroxide, antiseptic ointments, etc.
5) Basic Tools
Having some basic medical tools in your first aid kit is useful. Some are mentioned below:
- Thermometer to take the temperature
- Ice pack to soothe swelling
- Gloves and breathing barriers like masks for sanitation
- Tweezers for picking out splinters or contaminants from wounds
- Scissors for cutting bandages, and tape or safety pins to secure them
Most injuries are going to require some type of temporary or permanent bandaging. For this reason, your first aid kit needs to be equipped with:
7) Basic medication
Every kit should be equipped with some basic frequently needed medication. These include.
- Painkillers (e.g., ibuprofen, aspirin)
- Antihistamine for allergies
- Skin rash cream (e.g., hydrocortisone, calendula), aloe vera gel, and calamine lotion for soothing inflammation
- Medication for stomach issues (e.eg, anti-diarrhea medicines, laxatives, antacids)
- Cough and cold medications
- Personal medications prescribed by a medical professional (eg, insulin, epinephrine, etc.)
Since the eyes are more sensitive than other body parts, it is necessary to have medical products that are safe to use on the eye. In case of a foreign object getting stuck in the eye, an eye wash can be handy to clear it out or soothe the discomfort. Your first aid kit should also contain an eye shield or eye bandage to protect the eye from further harm.
Don’t Forget to Customize your Kit
Things like insulin, antihistamines, epi-pens, etc. are not necessary items for a basic first aid kit but depending on the conditions of the user, might become an essential addition to your first aid kit.
Keep in mind the problems unique to you and your family while assembling your first aid kit for home.