Personal First Aid Kits: What To Include
Whether you’re out for a camping trip or you’re working downtown, you never know when an emergency might strike. That’s why you must have a first aid kit ready in your vehicle, office and home.
When the moment strikes, you want to ensure that your kit is loaded with the necessary supplies that can care for and support a person until medical authorities arrive.
So, what do you include in your personal first aid kit? Well, it all depends on what you are using the kit for…
The Different Types of First Aid Kits
There are different types of situations where you require a first aid kit. Therefore, this will impact what you should include in it. Let’s take a look at the popular options below:
At-Home Kits: These kits are generally focused on treating minor injuries, such as burns, cuts, stings, sprains, strains and stings.
Travel Kits: These kits cover illnesses that you might get while travelling, particularly overseas. We’re referring to the likes of fever, cough, sore throat, gastrointestinal problems, skin conditions and allergies.
Camping Kits: A mixture of the two options above. You’ll be out in the wilderness, which means you’ll have to be wary of both physical injuries (cuts, scrapes etc) and illnesses (like gastrointestinal problems and allergies). You should also be packing extra stuff like blankets/sleeping bags, rain gear, extra clothing, packaged or canned food and extra water (four litres per person is ideal).
At-Work Kits: Like the at-home kit, these supplies should support the people in your office if something happens.
The Essentials to Include in Your Personal First Aid Kit
Despite various situations where you can use a first aid kit, there are some must-have essentials that you should always pack in every kit. According to the American and Canadian Red Cross, here is what you should include in your kit:
- Absorbent compress dressings
- Adhesive bandages and tape
- Antibiotic ointment packets and antiseptic wipe packets
- Barrier devices, such as a pocket mask or face shield
- Emergency blanket
- Emergency First Aid guide from either the American or Canadian Red Cross
- Eye patches
- Flashlights and batteries
- Gauze roll (roller) bandage
- Hydrocortisone ointment packets
- Instant cold and heating packs
- Medications such as aspirin
- Non-latex gloves
- Oral thermometer
- Pencil and pad to note down anything important
- Portable charger for your mobile phone
- Sterile gauze pads
The size and amount of each product vary depending on your situation and what you need them for. But the best bet is to have multiples of each - three to four - so have enough supplies for all situations.
Important Tips to Note
To ensure that your first aid kit is always ready to kick into action, make sure you do the following:
- Check the kit regularly to see if anything is missing
- Replace supplies when possible, so you always have plenty in stock
- Check the expiration dates and replace any out-of-date supplies
- Include any personal medications, emergency phone numbers (such as family doctors or local physicians) or other must-have essentials that are exclusive to you and your family’s health (eg. asthma pumps for those with breathing problems)
- Learn the basics of first aid training, so if something severe does happen, you know what to do in the heat of the moment. While you don’t have to undertake extensive training, knowing the essentials can prove invaluable
Remember that personal first aid kits may be basic or extremely comprehensive. It will depend on where you’re going, how far you are from professional help, and your family’s and your worker’s individual health. Take your time to prepare a first aid kit, so you’re ready whenever the moment strikes.
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