Being prepared for emergencies with the right tools can highly increase your chances of preventing injuries or saving lives. One thing you can do to be extra prepared for emergency scenarios is stocking up a first aid kit.
Having a complete first aid kit by your side during emergencies can help you treat numerous types of injuries. All you have to do is pack it up with the right items and you’ll end up with home or travel first aid kits that can make you a more effective life saver.
6 Types Of Items You Should Have In Your First Aid Kit
Aside from your regular prescription medication, you should always be equipped with basic pieces of oral medication such as:
- Antihistamines for allergies
- Pain relievers
- Oral rehydration salts to keep your fluids up
Topical Medication and Cleansers
The types of topical medication you will need may depend on what type of skin you have because not all topical medications have the same effect for all skin types. But for good measure, you should include these topical medications and cleansers to your kit:
- Antiseptics for cleansing wounds and medical equipment
- Hand wash with antibacterial properties for washing away germs
- Eye wash for getting contaminants out of your eyes
- Saline solution for cleansing scratches or other types of skin injuries
- Insect bite medication for immediate relief for mosquito or other insect bites
Dressings and Bandages
Dressings and bandages help prevent open wounds from getting dirty or contaminated. Make sure to add the following items to effectively cover up open wounds:
- Band aids or other types of dressings that are self adhesive. Make sure to purchase hypoallergenic brands for your minor cuts if you are allergic to adhesives.
- Gauze pads of different sizes. You can also get a large one that you can cut up into smaller pieces.
- Bandages for keeping your dressings in place. This can also be used as a sling for sprains and broken bones.
Basic Medical Equipment
The type of basic medical equipment you may need to include in your first aid kit can differ based on your personal medical conditions. For example, if you are susceptible to high blood pressure, you may need to include a portable heart rate monitor. Otherwise, all you really need is:
- A thermometer for checking your body temperature. A digital thermometer is usually the better choice because it can provide more accurate readings instead of old mercury thermometers.
- Instant cold packs for swelling.
- Foil or thermal blankets for treating people in shock or are in need of body temperature control.
Pieces of protective wear can help you prevent contaminating injuries. These can also help prevent cross infection between you and the person you are treating. Basic protective wear for first aid kits include:
- Non-latex gloves for keeping your hands sterile while you treat injuries like open wounds with blood or other bodily fluids.
- CPR breathing mask for preventing backwash of fluids from the lungs to perform CPR more effectively.
Aside from medicines, dressings, medical equipment, and protective wear, you may also need other miscellaneous items that can be useful for all sorts of emergency situations. For utmost preparedness, you may want to include the following items to your first aid kit as well:
- Pen and paper for writing down the details of an accident. It is important to list down signs and symptoms during an accident so you can report what happened accurately to medical professionals when help arrives.
- Scissors for cutting bandages, gauze, and other dressings.
- Tape for holding your dressings together
- Tweezers for removing splinters or other tiny contaminants that may have penetrated your skin or wound.
- Safety pins for keeping your bandages, slings, or dressings extra secure.
- A flashlight with a set of fresh batteries for better sight during emergencies in dark environments.
- A list of life-threatening allergies, health conditions, and blood types of your family or household members.
- A working mobile phone that has a full charge for calling emergency hotlines.
Before You Go
Well there you have it, a comprehensive list of different items you should have in your first aid kit. Keep in mind that what we listed above are only basic items you should add to your first aid kit. If you have any personal health conditions, you should always consider adding your personal medication and medical equipment to your first aid kit to ensure its overall effectiveness during emergency situations.