Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What to Keep in a First Aid Kit

A Proper Container
Your first aid kit should be portable and easily accessible. A small plastic tackle box or art supply box makes a good first aid kit, or you can use something as simple as a resealable freezer bag.

Where to Store Your First Aid Kit
Keep your home first aid kit in a central location so that it will be accessible during emergencies. Remember to keep it out of reach of small children. It's a good idea to maintain two different first aid kits: one for the home, and another for the car. Some practical places to store first aid kits include:

  • bathroom or kitchen cabinet
  • car (glove compartment is most accessible)
  • workshop
  • garage

The Most Important Item for a Car First Aid Kit
Your car first aid kit must have a cellular phone. There is no better tool in the event of an emergency.

Cellular phones must have enough battery power to turn the phone on, but you don't need a current contract with a service provider to call 9-1-1: federal law mandates that cell phones must be able to reach 9-1-1 anytime the number is dialed, regardless of the service agreement. So take your old cell phone that you don't use anymore and put it in your first aid kit for emergencies. If you don't have an old cell phone, you can find one via various programs that unite old, unused cell phones with people who need them for emergencies.

Items for Your First Aid Kit

  • first aid manual
  • acetaminophen
  • ibuprofen
  • tweezers
  • splint
  • alcohol wipes
  • antiseptic wipes
  • antiseptic hand cleanser
  • medical adhesive tape
  • sterile gauze (four inch squares are best)
  • elastic bandages
  • thermometer
  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • several sizes of adhesive bandages
  • insect bite swabs
  • triple antibiotic ointment
  • hydrocortisone cream
  • safety pins
  • calamine lotion
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • bandage scissors
  • triangular bandages
  • instant cold packs
  • exam gloves
  • barrier device for CPR
  • list of emergency phone numbers and important family medical info
  • blanket (stored nearby)

After You've Stocked Your First Aid Kits

  • Read the entire first aid manual so you'll understand how to use the contents of your kits. (If your kids are old enough to understand, review the manual with them.)
  • Check the kits regularly. Replace missing items or medicines that may have expired.
  • Check the flashlight batteries to make sure they work.
  • If you're flying, be sure to pack the first aid kit in your checked luggage. Many of the items won't be permitted in your carry-on bags.

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