Every family should have a well-stocked first aid kit in their home. With basic supplies on hand, you can provide immediate attention to your loved ones, taking care of minor injuries not requiring professional medical attention or providing temporary relief of more serious ones until professional assistance can be obtained.
If you or a family member suffers injuries such as a cut or burn, you can stop the bleeding and avoid infection simply by having the right supplies on hand. Of course, you should consider taking a first aid class to make sure you know how to properly use the supplies.
There are many prepackaged kits available to purchase both in stores and online. You can supplement these with any items specific to your children's and other family members’ needs.
Make sure the kits are out of reach of children but still easy to retrieve in an emergency. You should also keep a first aid kit in your car since we all spend so much time there nowadays.
Some essential items to include are nonstick sterile pads, an ice pack, sterile gloves, antibiotic wipes and ointment, burn ointment, a variety of sizes of adhesive bandages, eye wash solution, duct tape, tweezers, a thermometer, blankets, scissors, flashlights, a splint, and calamine lotion.
No kit is complete without some form of pain relief and fever reducer such as aspirin and acetaminophen, an anti-inflammatory for pain and swelling such as ibuprofen, an antihistamine for allergy and itching, laxatives and anti-diarrhea medication.
If possible you may also wish to include emergency supplies such as water purifying tables, flashlights with extra batteries, and a cell phone and charger. FEMA and the American Red Cross offer complete lists of items you should consider including.
You will also need to check your kits periodically to replace any items approaching their expiration dates. At that time, you can add any items required due to any changes in the health conditions of family members.
Whether you put together your own first aid kit from scratch or supplement one you have purchased, you will be taking an important step to prepare your family for emergencies and avoid infection.
This resource is only a guide and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or ignore professional medical advice because of something you have read on a website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call a doctor, dial 911 or go directly to a hospital Emergency Room (ER).