First Aid Kit Ins and Outs: What Should You Leave in and Out
In 2019, roughly 6% of deaths in the United States resulted from unintentional injuries. It may seem like a small percentage. However, when you consider it ranked third in the top 10 leading causes of death, it’s pretty significant.
Accidents, whether minor or major, are inevitable. They often happen at the least opportune times. Although you don’t have control over the variables involved, you do control how you respond.
A first aid kit can greatly increase your chances of surviving an injury or lessening the severity of it. The key is knowing what you should have in your kit and how to use it. It’s also important to know the first aid supplies that are essential in different situations.
Read on to find out the things you need to include in this often overlooked box with the potential to save your life.
Items You Should Have In Your First Aid Kit
A first aid kit usually contains a wide range of medical supplies. The type of supplies in each kit will depend on:
- The situation where it is being used
- The level of experience of the person who put it together and will be using it
- OSHA and other regulatory requirements
A standard emergency first aid kit will include basic care items. You can customize your first aid kit depending on the environment you’ll be in. You can include additional items if you’re going camping or hiking to create an adventure first aid kit.
This will include items for wound care, wound treatment, medications, and other supplies and tools.
Emergency First Aid Kit Basic Care Items
Basic care items in an emergency first aid kit include essential medical supplies you can use in most minor medical emergencies. The following are some of the items recommended for a basic first aid kit:
- First aid manual or guide
- 5″ x 9″ absorbent compress dressings
- An assortment of adhesive bandages
- Triangular bandages
- Various sizes of sterile gauze pads
- A 4″ wide roller bandage
- 10-yard roll, at least one inch thick, of medical adhesive tape
- Fine-point tweezers
- Non-glass/non-mercury oral thermometer
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic wipes
- Ibuprofen or pain medication
- An emergency blanket
- Antihistamine tablets or cream
- Anti-itch or insect sting treatment
- A breathing barrier
- Nonlatex gloves
- Instant cold compress
You should include an assortment of fabric and plastic adhesive bandages. Fabric bandages are flexible, comfortable, and move with your body easily. However, they may not hold up as well in wet conditions.
You can use plastic adhesive bandages in these situations. Although not as comfortable as fabric, they repel oils and water better.
Antihistamine is essential when an allergic reaction occurs. At the same time, your fine-point tweezers will come in handy to remove splinters.
Basic care supplies prepare you for multiple situations that may require wound cleaning and closure, blister and pain relief, as well as sting and itch treatment. You can include these in a portable first aid kit that you can carry easily and take anywhere.
What to Include in Your First Aid Kit for Different Situations
There are situations where you will need to try to prepare for any emergency. You will need to include specific supplies in addition to the basic care items. Customized first aid kits include additional items that can assist in a major emergency.
These are usually used by people with medical experience that can also provide surgical aid to accident victims. It will include other supplies and tools, additional wound care items, and a wider selection of medications and treatments.
Wound Care Items
In certain medical situations, you may need additional supplies for wound care and treatment. These include:
- A liquid bandage
- Elastic wrap
- Blood-stopping gauze
- Cleansing pads with topical anesthetic
- Finger splints
- SAM splints
- Hydrogel-based pads
- Rolled gauze
Hydrogel pads can keep wounds moist to prevent infection. You can use splints to reset broken bones.
Other Supplies and Tools
Some other supplies and tools can help you provide sterile treatment. They can also assist with the application of gauze, bandages, and medical adhesive tape. These include:
- Biodegradable soap
- Hand sanitizer
- Burn Gel
- Cotton swabs
- Box for sharp items and medical waste bag
- An irrigation syringe with an 18-gauge catheter
- Waterproof pencil or pen with a small notepad
Ensure the container you use to carry your supplies is waterproof. The knife and scissors can help with the cutting of the adhesive tape, gauze, and bandages. You can use the irrigation syringe to clean wounds.
You’ll also have a safe place to dispose of all the items used. If you’re not in a place with running water, you can use hand sanitizer to ensure your hands are clean before providing aid. Biodegradable soap is preferable in situations where there is a water source.
Treatments and Medications
Some treatments and medications you may want to include in your first aid kit may include:
- An EpiPen for severe allergic reactions
- Sunburn relief spray or gel
- Glucose to treat hypoglycemia
- Throat lozenges
- Oral rehydration salts
- Eye drops
- Antacid tablets
- Diarrhea medication
Adventure first aid kits would have these items and include duct tape, super glue, and aloe vera. Tactical medical kits may also include airway stabilization and patient assessment tools and trauma supplies such as chest wound injury seals and trauma shears.
You must check your first aid kit regularly. Remember, many of the supplies have an expiration date, especially medications and treatments. You want to be sure your supplies will work effectively when you need them the most.
Make the Best of an Unfortunate Situation
You can do everything in your power to avoid an accident. But even with the utmost care, they still occur. Once that happens, you have to make the best of an unfortunate situation.
One of the best ways to do this is through ample preparation. Having a well-stocked first aid kit can be a tremendous help when someone has an injury or is ill. The key is to ensure that it has the items needed to help.
There’s no need to shop around. First Aid Supplies Online has all the supplies you need regardless of the situation. We provide various first aid supplies, including emergency first aid kits and portable first aid kits. Shop now for all your emergency needs.