Hands up if you have a first aid kit at home! Well, I can’t see any hands but my guess is that most people either don’t have it at all, or they have it but they don’t stock it with all the essential contents. A first aid kit is a must for every home, school, mosque, church and office. It should contain everything you need to treat minor injuries and ailments. It can also be tailored towards your family needs. For example, if you have an asthmatic patient in your home, you can keep an extra inhaler in there. Emergencies don’t happen everyday but at least, common things occur commonly; things like cuts, bruises and sprains can be managed at home without any need for further expert care.
So, what are the basic contents of a first aid kit?
*plasters of different sizes and shapes
*at least two sterile eye dressings
*cotton wool or cotton buds
*crêpe rolled bandages
*alcohol-free cleansing wipes
*methylated spirit or alcohol wipes
*povidon iodine (betadine)
*antibiotic ointment (eg. fucidin)
*thermometer (preferably digital)
*skin rash cream, such as hydrocortisone or sudocream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings
*analgesic gels or balm (eg. Neurogesic, olfen gel)
*painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant paracetamol for children), aspirin (not to be given to children under 16), or ibuprofen
*Oral rehydration salts (ORS) for management of diarrhea
*antacids (chewable or suspensions)
*antihistamine tablets (loratadin or piriton)
*distilled water for cleaning wounds
*eye wash and eye bath
*activated charcoal and ipecac: to be used with extreme care (in case of acute drug overdose)
***Always read the information leaflets that come with medicines before you use.
***Always check the expiry date on your supplies and discard as appropriate.
***Always keep your first aid kit out of reach of children.