Accidents happen. As much as we try to prevent them, slips, trips, grazes, and even tumbles are a part of life.
Preparation is essential, and that starts with putting together a great family first aid kit. All families are different – that’s why you need a checklist you can use to determine what your family needs.
We’ve put together some essentials and optional extras. Read on for our first aid kit checklist.
First Step – Think About Your Family
It might sound a little fancy to call this a risk assessment, but basically, that’s what you’re doing. Stop and think about your family, who’s in it, the types of activities they do, and the kind of accidents they’re likely to have.
You could go room by room. What risks exist in the kitchen, garage, bathroom, nursery? Don’t forget the garden. Do your kids like to play out on bikes?
Does anyone in the family have a medical condition, especially one that could need urgent treatment? If you live close to an emergency treatment center, that’s great. But if you don’t, you might need to beef up your kit with some extra provisions, like an Epi-Pen for allergy sufferers or oral glucose for diabetics.
You can buy a ready-made first aid kit online. But if you build a first aid kit, you have greater control over the quality and type of supplies you have on hand.
Putting the Basics Together
First things first, you’ll need an appropriate container to store the first aid items in. You can buy bags and containers for this purpose online. You can also repurpose something you already have, such as a lunchbox.
If you’re thinking of buying a ready-made first aid kit, consider industrial first aid cabinets. These are well equipped and contain plenty of supplies for the active family. Supplement it with the specific items your family needs.
Whether you choose a ready-made kit or to make your own, the key is that it needs to be big enough to store everything. Light enough to carry away in an emergency and tough enough that it won’t break easily. Ensure it’s clearly marked ‘First Aid’ and everyone in the family knows where it is.
Wound Treatment Items
Every basic first aid kit checklist will begin with a few essential wound care items. You should include:
- alcohol or antiseptic pads
- gauze roll and pads in different sizes
- elastic bandages
- triangular bandages
- sterile dressings in different sizes
- antibiotic cream
- adhesive tape
- sharp scissors
- nitrile examination gloves (at least two pairs)
- hand sanitizer
With these items to hand, you’ll be ready to deal with most minor cuts that occur in the home. What if you have a deeper cut? Or what if a family member frequently suffers from nosebleeds?
- butterfly closures
- Nasalcease for nose bleeds
Butterfly closures help to keep a deep wound closed. They draw and hold both sides together until you can seek further medical attention. This helps to reduce the risk of infection getting into a deep wound.
Nasalcease for nose bleeds is an innovative product. Designed for people who suffer from regular, minor nosebleeds, it does more than just soak up the blood. Its unique formulation also promotes clotting to stop the nosebleed.
Whether you’re grilling in the backyard or whipping up supper in the kitchen, burns are a common household injury. Statistics show that over 400,000 Americans suffer burns each year. What can you put in your home first aid kit for this eventuality?
- burn gel
- burn dressings
Once a burn has been cooled off, it needs to be kept sterile until further treatment can be given. Both of these items can help you achieve that goal.
First, make sure that you are aware of any medication allergies in your family. Clearly label any items that would be dangerous for a particular family member.
Pay very close attention to the safety leaflet that comes with any medication. Always check with a doctor first if you’re unsure about any medication. Be very careful or even avoid providing medication to anyone outside your own family.
Some useful over the counter medications for your first aid checklist are:
- anti-diarrheal medication
- pain relievers (aspirin, ibuprofen, Tylenol etc)
- cough syrup
- cold medication
- calamine lotion
- aloe vera gel
The last two items can help to relieve sunburn and other skin irritations. Keeping a stock of the other OTC medications takes the first aid kit from something you only use in emergencies to a regular part of life.
Travel or first aid kit-sized packs of the above medications are often available. These are good because they will need to be replaced relatively frequently.
Add a note to your calendar to check expiration dates every couple of months. There’s nothing worse in an emergency than finding your meds have expired!
This is your opportunity to really personalize your first aid kit checklist. If your first aid kit will form part of a bug-out bag, these first aid kit supplies can be a real lifesaver.
Create your own list of the family’s meds and keep a small supply in the first aid kit. Include an EpiPen for any allergy sufferers who have a prescription for one. Make sure everyone in the family is familiar with how to use it.
Summer brings its own joys and dangers. Your summer first aid kit checklist should include the following:
- insect repellant
- bite cream
Keep these with you when out and about, as well as at home. Also, remember to keep extra supplies of water with you at all times to prevent dehydration.
Extras for the First Aid Kit Checklist
Here are a few optional extras for your first aid kit checklist. These can keep you safe, especially if you need to grab your kit and run:
- emergency contact list – friends/family/doctors
- first aid manual
- emergency blanket
These items are very useful if you live in a disaster-prone area. If you’re keeping your kit as part of a bug-out kit, they’re essential. You never know when your phone might die, so having an emergency contact list will reduce your stress.
Everything You Need to Keep Your Family Safe
Putting together a personalized first aid kit checklist might take a little time. But you’ll soon reap the benefits. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, so having these essentials in one place will keep you reassured, safe, and well.
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