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First Aid Box: What Should You Have In It?

From a sprained ankle to a scalded palm, one thing is sure; accidents can happen anywhere. It could be at home, school, a function, in the office, car or just about anywhere. No matter how careful you are, you can’t avoid an accident forever, but you can be prepared for it to an extent.

Or, hey, do you suppose you’ll always be close to a clinic? Or that you’ll never get in an accident, not even a tiny cut? I suppose not. Well, since your answers to these questions are negative, the first-aid box kit may be your savior just when it matters most: immediately after an accident. 

However, a first-aid box without the essential items is barely useful. In this piece, therefore, we’ll look at the most relevant items and medicines you should have in your kit. You may buy a prepackaged box, but why not build it yourself?

You can obtain the following must-have items from the local pharmacy.

First-aid Manual

The manual gives instructions on using other items in the kit. It is, therefore, a crucial inclusion to the first-aid kit. If you aren’t a medical practitioner and have no previous knowledge that could be helpful, the first-aid handbook should be your first call. Having this manual isn’t enough; however, you have to read and understand its contents thoroughly. 

Remember this: you can’t use critical items in the first-aid box without knowing how to. 

Sterile Gloves: Two Pairs

Sterile gloves are medically safe and eliminate the risk of infection when worn during treatment. We recommend that you keep two pairs so that both the rescuer and victim are not exposed to germs from open wounds. The logic behind these gloves is to have a germ-free barrier between the two parties.

In cases where there’s just a pair of gloves, however, it should be worn by the rescuer. You can buy non-latex gloves if you are allergic to latex gloves. 

Sanitizing Agent

For accidents that cause open wounds like a burn or cut, the first emphasis is on keeping the area safe from infection. You, therefore, need to have sanitizing agents in the box. Mild antiseptics, for example, hydrogen peroxide, or antibiotic towelettes, will effectively cleanse and disinfect a wound.

Adhesive Tape and Gauze

Continuous bleeding can worsen an otherwise casual accident, such as a palm cut. The duo mentioned above combines well to stop excessive bleeding. To use, rub sterile gauze on the surface of a bleeding wound, applying gentle but firm pressure on the spot. The adhesive tape can then be used to hold the gauze in place once the bleeding stops.

Antibiotic Ointment

Accidents like cuts and scrapes are vulnerable to infection when left exposed. An antibiotic ointment is an excellent alternative to hydrogen peroxide or an antibiotic towelette and is used to prevent infection after cleaning the wound. Also, a standard antibiotic ointment can hasten the healing process and reduce scarring.

Scissors and Tweezers

Were you wondering if we would include this? Of course, yes! The ideal pair of scissors for the first-aid box is one with rounded corners. They look like shears. Scissors are used to remove clothing when necessary or cut gauze or tape. 

Tweezers, on the other hand, are better suited for more articulated processes like splinter, dirt, or debris removal. To avoid pushing more venom into a wounded spot, however, do not try using tweezers to take out the sting of an insect. A better option is to brush the affected area with the edge of a debit card. 

Elastic Wraps

Some accidents do not lead to open wounds like cuts, scalds, or scrapes. An elastic wrap is useful for stabilizing injuries suffered by the joints, for example, a dislocation. Be it the wrist, elbow, knee, or ankles; you should use elastic wraps to prevent or reduce swelling.

Triangular Bandages

These are, to an extent, related to elastic wraps. They are larger bandages, specifically designed to wrap substantial injuries. They are also handy as slings for dislocated or broken shoulders and arms. Triangular bandages can also be used to stabilize the neck in case of any injury.

Pain Killers

An instant pain removal tablet significantly lessens the pain of an accident. Pain removal pills such as Aspirin, Acetaminophen, and Ibuprofen can all help to ease minor aches and pains. With the approval of a medical expert, it is advisable to keep, at least, two tablets of Aspirin close if you are prone to a heart attack. These medications must be used strictly according to the doctor’s order. 

Note that Aspirin should not be used to treat the symptoms of flu or given to children. Remember to check the expiration dates of these medications from time to time.

Cold Packs

The immediate application of a cold pack to the surface of a sting, strain, sprain, or burn will offer tremendous soothing effects. It will as well help to control swelling in accidents that involve the joints. 

Prescription Medications

Keep all prescribed drugs for every member of the family in the first-aid box. Medications, such as asthma inhaler, allergy reliefs, insulin, and heart medications, should be kept as well. The first-aid toolkit should also contain a list showing the names of every family member and their respective prescribed medicines. This list could be a lifesaver.

Emergency Contacts

The numbers of people that could help are essential just as items like ointments, scissors, and bandages are. Keep the hotlines of emergency contacts like your doctor, pharmacy/pharmacist, and area health control center. If you can’t access 911 services from your location, keeping a list of numbers to reach the police department, fire services, and a local ambulance is highly recommended.

Bottom Line

Your first-aid toolkit cannot replace the clinic, but it can be the difference between mild and severe or life and death. If your box contains every item listed above, experts believe you’re prepared for any home incidentals. You should, however, always remember to check the validity periods of the drugs in the box regularly.