CareNow® - February 22, 2019

Whether you have kids in your home or not, keeping a home first aid kit is important.

Even if you don’t want to admit it, there will be a time that your first aid kit is needed.

Common household accidents such as burns, scrapes, bee stings, etc. can easily be taken care of without seeking professional medical care if you have the right items at home.

Below is everything you need to know about your home first aid kit.

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Why You Need A First Aid Kit

man helping woman wrap injured hand

Having a first aid kit in your home can be crucial when time is of the essence.

When an injury occurs, being prepared can help reduce panic and prevent further damage.

A first aid kid can also keep small injuries from becoming larger injuries. If you wait awhile to get treatment, the injury can become more severe.

Finally, a first aid kit at your home can provide peace of mind, helping you know that help is nearby if someone injuries themselves.

First Aid Kit Supplies You Need

If you’re looking to build a first aid kit at home, the first step is to find a good container. Large, translucent containers with a latch-top lid are great options because you can easily identify what’s inside the kit.

If you’re in need of a larger first aid kit, try a backpack or small duffel bag.

Your first aid kit needs to be easy to tote around if needed. The kit should be clearly labeled “FIRST AID” so it’s easily accessible when needed in an emergency.

You should ensure that everyone in your family knows about the first aid kit and what’s inside. It’s important that everything in your first aid kit is organized so it’s easy to find.

Since you may need items in a hurry when an emergency strikes, you should know where to find an item at any give time.

What To Include In Your First Aid Kit

woman putting bandaid on a child

  • Antiseptic:

    Scrapes and wounds can easily become infected if they are not cleaned properly.
    If soap and water are not available, an antiseptic can be used to flush out debris and offer temporary pain relief.

    You may purchase antiseptics in cream or spray form.

  • Bandages and gauze pads

    To avoid infection, it’s important to cover open wounds. Bandages are good for minor cuts and scrapes, while gauze pads are often needed for more serious injuries.

    When purchasing bandages, it’s smart to buy a large package that offers a variety of sizes.

    For gauze pads, it’s a good idea to choose larger sizes that can be cut down if needed.

  • Antibiotic Ointment:

    To properly clean scrapes, cuts and wounds, a small tube of antibiotic cream can be helpful after cleansing the affected area.

    Before applying antibiotic cream, be sure to rinse all wounds with soap and water or an antiseptic.

  • Rubbing alcohol:

    For cleaning wounds or insect sting bites, rubbing alcohol is effective.

    If space is limited in your first aid kit, alcohol wipes work just as well.

  • Instant cold and hot pack:

    These packs work great for sprains, bruises and bumps to keep swelling at a minimum.

    Because they are for one-time use only, it’s a good idea to keep several in your first aid kit if space allows.

Further Tips:

It’s a good idea to keep your first aid kit out of the bathroom; the humidity from the bathroom shortens the shelf life of items in the first aid kit.

Because most activities take place in the kitchen, it is often the best place to keep the first aid kit.

It’s also smart to keep a first aid kit in your car for everyday use. If you have a boat, camper, vacation home, etc., you should also keep a kit there.

Precautions To Take Before Using Your First Aid Kit

mother assisting child with a sports injury on his ankle by icing and wrapping

If you are using any medication in your first aid kit, it’s important to read the label every time. Ensure you are using the correct dose of medicine and always pay attention to the usage directions and warnings.

Do not purchase any medication that has cuts, tears or other issues with the packaging.

Keeping a checklist in your first aid kit is a good way to know what’s in the kit and when it expires. Record how much of any item is in the kit (for example, 10 small bandages) and when it expires.

This will ensure those who use the first aid kit on a whim are able to retrieve any item in the kit quickly.

It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the first aid kit. Learn what each item does and how it should be used. In addition to learning more about your first aid kit, it’s also smart to learn basic first aid moves such as CPR.

Because you never know when it will be needed (both at home and out in public), knowing these basic skills could prove to be crucial at some point.

Keep Your Kit Current

It’s crucial that you keep the supplies in your first aid kit up to date.

Medications and bandages have expiration dates, so checking them regularly is a good way to ensure they won’t be out of date when you need them most.

A good rule of thumb is to check your first aid kit when Daylight Saving Time begins in the spring and ends in the fall.

CareNow® Can Help With Minor Injuries

While home first aid kits are a good idea to have, some injuries require professional medical attention.

If you or someone in your family is in need of minor medical attention, find the nearest CareNow® location.

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Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.