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First Aid Kits

Posted Jun 11 2008 12:00am

A well organised and well stocked first aid kit needs to be in every home, vehicle, and possibly at outdoor activity centres. Having the supplies together ahead of time will help contribute to being able to handle common injuries and minor emergencies. Everyone in the family should know where you store the first aid kit. You can already stocked with most items your need for minor accidents and emergencies, you can also create your own first aid kit.

Use a container for your first aid kit that is durable, easy to open and lightweight, such as a light weight tackle box or an art supplies box with a handle. A first aid manual and your list of emergency phone numbers should be included in your first aid kit. The family emergency phone numbers needed are home, parents’ work, and cell phones. Then you also need to have a person to contact in case of an emergency and all their phone numbers and what relation they are to you. Be sure to add any family medical conditions that anyone in your family might have. The other emergency phone numbers you need to have are emergency services other than 999, Poison Control Center, your GP surgery and possibly your pharmacist. You should also have the phone number of NHS direct, which is: 0845 4647.

Among the basic supplies needed to be packed in the first aid kit is adhesive tape, aluminum finger splints, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic solution or towelettes.
More of the basic supplies are a roll of elastic wrap, band-aids in assorted sizes, instant cold packs, cotton balls or swabs, disposable gloves, gauze, eye goggles, petroleum jelly or other lubricant. You also need a plastic bag for the disposal of contaminated materials, safety pins of assorted sizes and a save-a-tooth storage device containing salt solution and travel case. Scissors, tweezers, a needle, instant hand sanitizer, sterile eyewash, thermometer, triangular bandage and bulb suction for flushing out wounds are more basic supplies needed for the first aid kit.

Among the medications needed are activated charcoal (only used as instructed by poison control center), anti-diarrhea medication, antihistamine, aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen, calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream, personal medications, EpiPen (if prescribed by a doctor), syringe, medicine cup or spoon.

The emergency items needed for your first aid kit are a cell phone and accessory plug for your car, flashlight and extra batteries, candles and matches, sunscreen, and mylar emergency blanket.It is recommended to check your first aid kit every three months to make sure the flashlight batteries still work and you will need to replace any items that have expired or have been used.

You are encouraged to also attend first-aid classes so you can be prepared for a medical emergency. Be sure the classes offer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED). You will need to renew your CPR certification at least every two years.

Contact your American Red Cross to find classes that will prepare children for medical emergencies. These classes will help the children to understand and use the first aid techniques and kit.

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