It’s a common occurrence around the home: a child falls and scrapes her knee; a father gets stung by a bee while working in the garden; a mother has an allergic reaction to a bug bite.
Being prepared for these emergencies means planning ahead. And one of the best ways to do that is to put together a first aid kit.
Although you can purchase first aid kits that are already assembled, they may not contain all the items that you want or need. One option is to buy a pre-assembled kit and add to it. Another is to make a kit of your own.
No matter which choice you make, it’s important that you have your kit in an easily accessible location in the home, such as the kitchen or bathroom. In fact, you may want to consider having more than one kit in the house for quicker access during emergencies.
Stocking a kit with the proper supplies requires some forethought. The items chosen should be intended to deal with a variety of situations, including those previously mentioned.
Here’s a list to help get you started (please keep in mind that this should not be considered an all-inclusive list and that there may be other items that would appropriate for your particular situation):
- Adhesive bandages as well as bandages of different shapes and sizes.
- Hot/cold pack.
- Flashlight with extra batteries (this should be checked at least monthly to ensure it’s in working condition).
- A bag, box, or similar container to store the first aid supplies.
- First aid manual.
- Sterile pads, cotton balls, and gauze of different sizes.
- Allergy-relief medicine, such as Benadryl.
- Acetaminophen and ibuprofen (for fever, inflammation, and pain).
- Antibiotic cream.
- Hand sanitizer.
- Calamine lotion.
- Hydrocortisone cream.
- Blanket and pillow (place next to kit).
- Safety pins.
- Sterile gloves.
- Petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline.
Certain items, such as medicines, should be checked regularly to ensure they haven’t reached their expiration dates. Any items used in the kit should be replaced immediately.
And don’t forget to include a list of emergency phone numbers (doctor, dentist, etc.) as part of the kit.
While you’re preparing a first aid kit for the home, you may also want to put one together for on the road. In addition to the items listed above, this kit should also include enough food and water to last you 2-3 days; jumper cables; extra blankets; a change of clothes; flares and/or roadside assistance signs; bungee cords; hand warmers; and heavy duty tape.
Don’t let an emergency at home or away catch you off guard. Be prepared with a well-stocked first aid kit.