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First Aid Kits: Always Be Prepared

Posted on 05/06/14 in Safety
First Aid KitsIt is easier to stay calm in an emergency if a well-stocked first aid kit has already been prepared. First aid kits make it easier to treat common injuries, such as minor cuts and abrasions, and they can even help treat a more serious wound while waiting on emergency responders to arrive. Whether at home or on the go, an accessible first aid kid can help you react quickly when response time is critical. Read on to learn about the most important components of the first aid kit and why you need them.

Anatomy of a First Aid Kit

Let's break down the critical supplies:

  • Sterile adhesive bandages, in multiple sizes. These are for small or shallow cuts and abrasions.
  • Butterfly bandages may be small, but they're also powerful. These little bandages will keep the edges of a cut held together so it can properly heal or until stitches can be rendered.
  • Sterile gauze pads - individually wrapped and in multiple sizes. These will control bleeding or other secretions. Don't forget adhesive tape to hold a dressing or splint to the injury.
  • Roller bandages will support strained or sore muscles.
  • Cotton swabs help clean out or apply medicine to smaller injuries - just be sure not to use them in your ears.
  • Always have a thermometer on hand to gauge temperature.
  • Keep at least one pair of latex gloves to protect yourself from bodily fluids when providing emergency assistance.
  • Products that combat irritation, such as eye drops for the eyes and anti-itch lotion for the skin, are crucial to providing comfort.

Personalize Your Kit

Even when buying a pre-stocked first aid kit, make sure everyone's personal needs are met. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers in the kit, and also include a list of any medications you or your loved ones are taking or might need. Watch expiration dates by periodically checking the contents of your first aid kit. Throw out anything past its date and replace it.

Additionally, keep a flashlight in your kit and make sure its batteries haven't run out or expired. A bottle of water is also an invaluable resource if you need to rinse off a wound or combat dehydration. Finally, make sure you have a first aid manual and read (and reread) its contents if you ever feel less than confident about what to do in an emergency.

Author: Robert Stillman CEO

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