First Aid Kits

What To Keep In Them

First-aid kits typically come put together at the time of purchase, although some people choose to make their own kits from scratch. Some kits are designed for specific activities, such as boating, camping, or hiking, but regardless of what you are doing, there are several items that should be in every first aid kit. This includes any personal items, such as medications, or emergency phone numbers. Make sure to check the kit regularly and ensure all batteries work and all other contents are up to date. All first aid kits should include: a first aid instruction booklet, tweezers, 2 triangular bandages, an oral thermometer, 5 4×4 and 3×3 sterile gauze pads, 1 roller dressing, scissors, 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets, 2 pairs of nonlatex gloves, 1 instant cold compress, 1 blanket, 2 packets of aspirin, 5 antiseptic wipe packets, 5 antibiotic ointment packets, 1 adhesive cloth tape, 25 adhesive bandages, and 2 absorbent compress dressings. According to the Red Cross, those items make up an acceptable kit for a family of 4. For your car, you should make sure you also have jumper cables and a tire repair kit. If you are going hiking or some other activity in the woods, you should take bottled water with high-energy foods that won’t go bad, maps of the area, a shovel, and flares.

Where To Store Them

Ideally, you should keep your first aid kit somewhere where it is easily accessible. At work, this could be a staff room or main office area. That way, if something does go wrong and someone needs medical attention immediately, it is easy to find and access. It should also be somewhere out of the way, however. You don’t want to damage anything in the kit by knocking it over or by placing other objects on top of it. Ideally, you will have it located on the wall or in its own drawer.

Hand completing Emergency Preparation List by Equipment

How To Use

Before you begin, you need to perform the ‘Three C’s”: Check the surroundings, Call for help, and Care for the person. This not only protects your own safety and well-being, but also ensures the victim receives the attention they need, both from you and from professionals. If a person is unconscious, attempt to wake them by gently touching their feet and hands or by talking to them. If they do not respond, ensure that they are still breathing. If the person is unresponsive, you may need to perform CPR. If you do need to perform CPR, remember the ABCs: Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. Other things you need to look out for include any wounds. Once the victim is breathing, you need to stop or at least control any bleeding. Use direct pressure on a wound before doing anything else. If you need to provide aid for a broken bone, you want to first immobilize the area, then numb the pain, and then make a splint or sling. Ultimately, the best way to truly prepare for giving first aid is to take a course, where you can be taught the right way to do everything by a professional.