A well-stocked first aid kit can help you respond effectively to common injuries and vacation emergencies. Keep at least one first aid kit at home and one in your car. Store your kits in an easily accessible place and out of reach of young children. Make sure children old enough to understand the purpose of the pencil cases know where they are stored.
You can buy first aid kits at many pharmacies or assemble one yourself. You can customize your kit according to your activities and your needs. A first aid kit may include:
– Elastic bandages
– Bandage strips
– Sterile non-stick dressings and gauze in rolls of various sizes
– Eye protection or pad
– Aluminum finger splint
– Instant cold packs
– Cotton balls and cotton swabs
– Latex-free disposable examination gloves, several pairs
– Plastic bags
– Safety pins of various sizes
– Scissors and pliers
– Hand sanitizer
– Antiseptic solution and wipes
– Eye wash solution
– Sterile saline solution for irrigation, rinsing
– surgical mask
– First aid manual
Medicines and health products
– Aloe vera gel (to relieve sunburn and skin irritation)
– Antidiarrheal drugs
– Cough and cold medicines
– Painkillers: ibuprofen (Advil)
Also remember to keep some aspirin in your first aid kit. Aspirin can save the life of an adult with chest pain. If you or anyone else has new or unexplained chest pain or is having a heart attack, call emergency medical help right away. Then, swallow an aspirin. However, do not take aspirin if you are allergic to aspirin, have bleeding problems, or take another blood-thinning medication, or if your doctor has previously told you not to.
Never give aspirin to children.
– Emergency phone numbers, including contact details for your family doctor and pediatrician, local emergency services
– document tracing the medical history for each member of the family
– Small flashlight or waterproof headlamp and extra batteries
– Waterproof matches
– Small notepad and waterproof writing instrument
– Insect repellent
Do a health check of your kit
Regularly check your first aid kits to make sure flashlight batteries are working and to replace supplies that have expired or run out.
Consider taking a first aid course with the Red Cross. Contact your local chapter for course information.
Prepare children for medical emergencies in an age-appropriate way. The Red Cross offers a number of helpful resources, including courses designed to help children understand and use first aid techniques.