Whether you are travelling, going camping, school trip, in an office, at home or anywhere there is activity that can lead to injury; a first aid kit should be the number one item in your mind. This is to help either you or any other person that may need urgent help before being taken to the hospital. A first aider gives basic first aid to someone who needs it to preserve life, try to stop the casualty’s condition from becoming worse or promote recovery.
Here are 12 items that at least you must have in your first aid kit:
- Crepe bandage
Crepe bandage comes in different sizes (2 inch, 3 inch, 4 inch, and 6 inch). This is a piece of elastic material ideal for providing light support to sprains and strains. Restricts movement and avoids further swelling to the injured part. It is also used to hold a pad or dressing in place.
- Cotton wool
Used for cleaning and bathing the skin and bathing wounds. A small size cotton wool is preferred for a first aid box. The cotton wool should not take most of the space so that you do not have room for essential items.The size of the cotton wool can change depending on the number of people you expect to cover.
This may be used to dress minor cuts, abrasions, punctures or lacerations to prevent dust and fluid that may cause infection on the affected area. One that is waterproof is the best to have in a first aid kit.
- Surgical/Methylated spirit
This is used for cleaning and disinfecting wounds. The quantity varies with the size of the first aid kit. Don’t buy a big bottle to avoid taking so much space in the kit.
- Alcohol swabs
Alcohol swabs are used to clean insect bites and new blisters. They can be used to disinfect the scissors also.
- Examination gloves
Examination gloves are used to prevent cross contamination between a caregiver and a casualty. You should wear gloves if you might touch bodily fluids, blood, tissues or anything that might have come into contact to these things. Preventing cross infection using gloves is an important part of keeping yourself safe as you save life.
- Sterile gauze swabs
Comes three inch or four inch, there is always danger of infection or losing of blood if a major vessel has been damaged. Five compressed sterile gauze swabs can be used to apply direct pressure to a wound and hence prevent or stop the bleeding. Apart from that, the compressed gauze helps in cleaning the open wound, stemming, and absorbing blood and exudate fluids from a wound. A single gauze can be folded or cut into a small piece to help cover minor wounds with help of an adhesive tape.
- A pair of scissors
For cutting bandages and other things that need to be used in small size. The scissors can help cut other items not necessarily the ones in the first aid kit so long as you are saving life.
- Surgical blade
Surgical blade is a leaf shaped blade sharpened along its leading edge. Used for making short and precise incisions, excision of a skin lesion.
- Roll of adhesive tape (Transpore/ Zinc oxide plaster)
Holds bandages in place or for tying gauze in place. This is the best way to hold a dressing in the right place.
- White Open Wove (W.O.W ) bandages
They come in different sizes (2 inch, 3 inch, 4 inch, and 6 inch). The bandage does not contain elastic material and it will not constrict wounds. It is ideal for securing wound dressing in place.
- Pain reliever gel
There are different brands of these gels in the market and they are used to treat minor aches and pains of the muscles, joints, backaches and sprains.