What’s in a First Aid Kit? The Essentials You Need.
Whether you are going camping, somewhere further afield, or simply out on a day trip in your car, it’s always a good idea to have yourself covered just in case someone has an accident. But what’s in a first aid kit? I find them to be an essential item wherever I go, and they can make the difference between being able to solve a problem instantly, or finding yourself needing to seek emergency care. In this article we will be looking at the important things to consider, and why first aid kits are so helpful.
What is a First Aid Kit?
First Aid kits contain a selection of various items that will help you deal with minor medical emergencies, as well as immediate treatment for more serious problems while you await further help. There are lots of different first aid kits available depending on where you need them for, such as tactical medical kits and adventure medical kits, but you can also make one yourself by incorporating all of the basic elements and adding extras related to your needs.
A basic first aid kit will allow you to treat burns, cuts, scrapes, stings, splinters, strains and sprains. With further products you will also be able to handle cuts, mild pains, fever and coughs, as well as being the first step in dealing with serious injuries while you await a paramedic.
First Aid Kit List
There are fundamental items you will need in your first aid kit to help with the most common injuries and, depending on where you are going, you may need some extras as well. The basic things include:
- Band-Aids in at least 3 different shapes and sizes (the more the better)
- Sterile Gauze Dressings in at least 3 different sizes
- Bandages- Triangular shaped and roller bandages
- Sterile Gloves
- Safety Pins, Tweezers and Scissors
- Cleansing wipes (ideally alcohol-free)
- Alcohol Gel
- Clean Plastic Bags
- Basic medications such as insect bite cream, Ibuprofen and antihistamines
- Pocket Mask (to protect you if you need to provide rescue breaths)
- Instruction Booklet
These will allow you to treat most problems you may encounter wherever you are, and it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with each item before you find yourself needing to use it. Pocket masks, for example, aren’t necessarily obvious to use- even less so in an emergency situations- so the more you know, the better use you will get from the equipment.
There are extra items that will come in handy in certain situations, which you can either add yourself or would be included in a product like a tactical first aid kit. If your kit is for your car, it would also be worth ensuring you have a warning triangle and a high visibility jacket to warn other road users of your presence. For outdoor uses, like camping, I would also recommend you take blankets (these could be silver space blankets), a torch and a whistle. These will ensure you will be able to keep people warm and find it a lot easier to draw the attention of others to come and help you.
Using a First Aid Kit
You will find first aid kits in all public spaces, and ideally should have one at home as well. They should be clearly marked so are easy to find, but just because you have a first aid kit doesn’t mean the crisis will be avoided- you also need to know what to do with it.
The first important thing to note is that, if you are responsible for a first aid kit, you must ensure that the products have not gone past their expiry date (particularly with any medicines) and that the items are fully stocked. It’s not uncommon for someone to take a band aid without you knowing, and you can soon find that the supplies are running low, which is not what you want if there is an emergency.
Next, you should familiarize yourself with the contents of the kit and how they should be used. Triangular bandages, for example, can be used to relive pressure from an injured arm, but it’s not so easy to follow instructions to do this for the first time when someone is relying on you- Instead it is worth practicing the method beforehand. Having a first aid kit is all about being prepared and this includes your capability to use it as well as having the necessary items.
It is always a good idea to have a first aid kit with you wherever you go, whether it’s in the home, in your car, or away on a trip somewhere. They provide all the items you will need to handle minor injuries. You should have a look at what’s in a first aid kit to familiarize yourself with the contents and how to use them, and having done so you will feel much more confident that you are prepared for any unfortunate eventualities. Please use the section below to leave any comments or questions.