6 Smart Tips to Keep Your First Aid Supplies Up-to-Date
Every year in the United States there are more than 130 million visits to emergency rooms across the country. These can be for a whole variety of injuries that need immediate medical attention. Often they cannot be treated at home. The sooner you receive treatment for an emergency, the better and this is why it is important to have first aid supplies up to-date-at home and in your place of work. However, 44% of Americans don’t own a first aid kit at all — so if you have one you’re already ahead of some people!
Just having a first aid kit in your home or your office isn’t always enough though. In fact, if your kit is missing items or is out-of-date then it can actually create a false sense of security. The last thing you want is to go to use it and find that an important item is missing or expired.
So how do you keep your first aid supplies up-to-date? So read on to discover our six tips for keeping on top of your first aid supplies list.
1. Always Check the Date on Your First Aid Kit
When you buy a first aid kit for the first time, it is always important to check the expiry date on anything inside it.
You may think that some items on your first aid kit supplies list don’t go out of date. Bandages, for example, can last for years. However, over time the glue in bandages can become ineffective and their sterility may be compromised — so even they have an expiry date!
You should check the expiring date of each individual item in your first aid kit, as these can vary depending on the product. You will usually find this given as a year and a month.
2. Create an Inventory of Your First Aid Supplies
Making a first aid supplies list is crucial if you are going to stay on top of your kit. This list should contain everything in your first aid kit, such as burn treatments, pain relief, and examination gloves.
Your inventory should contain details of:
- How many of each item you have in the kit
- The expiry date of each item
- Where the item is located
You may also want to put in specific reminders about certain items. For example, let’s say you are using a kit at home and one of your kids has a latex allergy. Then you could make a note next to your inventory of which bandaids are suitable for each child.
3. Set Reminders of When to Check Your Kit
You should check your first aid kit once every six months to ensure that everything is still in-date. Setting reminders on your calendar or on your phone can help you keep this in mind.
Checking your kit is also a good opportunity to check whether or not all your items are still there. Of course, you should replace any missing items as soon as possible.
If any items in your kit won’t reach the next six-month mark you should order new ones immediately. That way your kit will stay in-date until the next time that you check it.
4. Replace Used First Aid Kit Supplies Immediately
Your first aid kit is there to be used in an emergency and this means that, over the course of each six-month window, you will use some items. Your six-month check is there to ensure everything is in-date and to catch any items that you forget to replace.
However, you should always try to replace any used items in your first aid kit immediately. That way, you will always have what you need to hand.
If you notice that you are running low on certain supplies, like sting swabs, antibiotic ointment, rolled bandages or adhesive bandages, it doesn’t hurt to stock up on these first aid supplies online. The last thing you want is to find yourself missing a major component.
5. Create a List of Places to Source Replacement Items
It is a good idea to keep a note of where you can go to replace items from your first aid kit. You might want to search for “first aid supplies near me” or you might save a link to your favorite supply website. Either way, you will always know where to go when you do need to update your kit.
Buying online can make updating your kit simpler. That way you can set aside an evening to check your kit and update it online in one go. If you do this, make sure you allow for delivery time.
6. Let People Know About Any Changes
You may not be the only person using your first aid kit. In that case, it is important to update anyone else using it about changes to the kit.
This might be as simple as switching brands of bandages or introducing a new item to your kit. Whatever it is, letting people know in advance means that they will find it easier to use the kit in an emergency.
If more than one person is using the kit, it is a good idea to run them through the inventory as well. You might want to add a column where people can make a note of any items they’ve used. That way you can check this list regularly and keep your kit up-to-date.
Protect Yourself and Others With an Up-to-Date First Aid Kit
Whether you’re buying a first aid kit for the first time or have been using one for years, knowing how to keep yours updated is essential. This ensures that you always have all the first aid supplies you need on hand when you need them. So what are you waiting for?