Every home should have one – but what exactly should a family first aid kit contain?
Some items to include are obvious – bandaids, bandages, scissors and gauze pads – but what other things should you have at hand in case of an emergency.
And what is the best way to store and maintain your kit so that you’re never caught unprepared?
These are the 20 essential first aid items you will need to build a first aid kit for your family home or holiday.
20 essentials for your family first aid kit:
- Adhesive Dressings (various sizes). Commonly known as Bandaids, adhesive dressings are used for minor cuts or skin injuries. If any family members are allergic to the adhesive or latex in the dressings, you can also purchase the hyper allergenic variety.
- Scissors. Small but sharp, used for cutting bandages.
- Gauze Pads (a pack of). We recommend the large size, as they can be cut to size of the cut or graze easily.
- Tape (microfiber). Used to hold dressings in place or to protect small cuts or bruises
- Cotton Balls/Tips. Great for cleaning around the graze or wound with the appropriate use of antiseptic liquid.
- Antiseptic Chlorex and Cetrimide. Essential for cleaning wounds and any equipment contaminated with germs.
- Thermometer. A digital design thermometer is more accurate and can be easier to read.
- CPR Breathing Mask. Provides a one-way flow and prevents the backwash of vomit, blood, liquid from the lungs or other fluid that might diminish the effectiveness of CPR.
- Tweezers. Splinters are very common in children. Pointed tweezers are easier to remove splinters. You can also try soaking the skin in warn water to make the removal process easier.
- Safety pins. For securing large bandages or holding slings in place.
- Non-Latex gloves. An essential item used to avoid cross infection through blood or bodily fluids. Keep two pairs in the kit just to be safe.
- Stingose. To provide instant relief to mozzie or insect bites.
- Bandages. Ideal for creating support to strained limbs, reduce swelling, or hold dressings in place. Bandages can also be used in place of a sling.
- Saline. To clean grazes or skin injuries.
- Thermal blanket. In case of an emergency.
- Cold pack (disposable and instant). Great for swelling or skin reactions.
- Local emergency numbers. Include an emergency point of contact (family or friend), and your local hospital. Keep a note of any life-threatening allergies and blood types of all family members in case of an emergency.
- Eye wash. Sodium Chloride 0.9% BP is great for irrigating foreign objects from the eye.
- Hand wash. Antibacterial Gel is convenient as it can be left in your first aid kit, and does not require water to wash away germs.
- Pen and paper. In an emergency situation, you may need to write down the signs, symptoms and details of the accident.
You could also consider including:
- A splint
- Torch with extra batteries
Storing your first aid kit:
A dry, cool location is the best storage environment for your family first aid kit. Make sure it is easily accessible and that everyone in the family or on your holiday knows where the first aid kit is located. Remember to check the contents regularly to ensure creams are in date, bandages are properly sealed and the torch is working with spare batteries. If an item is used from your First Aid Kit, don’t forget to promptly replace it.
Tip: If you are travelling by air to your family holiday, be sure to pack your first aid kit in the checked luggage of your flight. Many of the items will not be permitted in your carry-on bags.
You can learn how to best utilise every item in your family First Aid Kit by taking a one-day first aid course.
– This article was supplied by Australia Wide First Aid
Image credit: jamie800/123RF Stock Photography