While we are aware of the necessity of carrying a first-aid kit in the car or having one in reach at home, the contents of this kit can vary from box to box. Whether you purchase a basic kit at the store or create one on your own, all supplies should be certified, reliable, and chosen with the utmost care.
First-aid kits contain a variety of medical equipment that many EMTs and police officers carry in their trauma packs. However, no matter your profession, home situation, or what kind of adventures you go on, the bare minimum of a first-aid kit should contain tools to stop bleeding, control pain, stabilize injuries, and support breathing. Without further ado, here are the top equipment essentials for your first-aid kit.
Bandages and Gauze
A box of bandages in several different sizes is the epitome of basic aid care. Alongside typical plasters and butterfly strips, it’s wise to have triangular bandages, elastic wraps, and a splint on hand as versatile tools for twists, dislocations, and sprains.
Sterile gauze pads deal remarkably well with injuries that are too large for traditional band-aids. A range of gauze sizes is ideal for covering cuts and grazes and absorbing blood. Cotton-tipped swabs and adhesive medical tape are top-tier supplements for wound care as well.
Medications and Creams
Basic pain-relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are equipment essentials for your first-aid kit. Cough medicine, laxatives, antacids, and antihistamine tablets are next on the list. If you have primary medications covered, consider adding an assortment of creams and ointments to kill germs and treat irritations. Hydrocortisone is vital for rashes and allergies, and burn ointments speed up skin healing.
Protective and Sanitary Equipment
A pair of medical-grade gloves, such as nitrate gloves, are paramount for administering first-aid to another person. Disposable gloves act as a barrier to protect you from possible contact with blood-borne pathogens. Sterile gloves also protect a wound from accidental bacteria or dirt interaction. Don’t forget spares in case of tears.
Alcohol wipes, alcohol-free cleansing wipes, and antibacterial hand-wash are also essentials for cleansing before and after providing care. Antiseptic solutions, such as hydrogen peroxide, are equally near the top of the list to disinfect minor injuries.
There are a variety of medical tools that you can put in a first-aid kit, but the top fundamental equipment includes trauma shears or scissors, a digital or oral thermometer, and tweezers. A pair of quality tweezers is only one of the types of medical forceps found within the healthcare field, yet it remains the most valuable tool to remove foreign matter such as gravel, thorns, splinters, or insect stingers. Keep a pair of angled tweezers that close tightly in your kit.
Be sure to glance over your first-aid kit regularly to inventory stock. Some items you may never use and others may deplete more quickly than you realize. A well-stocked kit provides you with unparalleled safety, treatment tactics, and peace of mind.