Create the ultimate first aid kit for your family
A quick poll among friends revealed that first aid kits vary from the simple Panados and plasters, to the apocalypse ready kind of first aid kits. There are grab and go first aid kits, kits for the car, in fact – if there’s a situation, someone has an emergency kit for it. This got me thinking about the current state of our first aid kit at home and what kinds of things were lacking. A bit ashamed, I made it my mission to update our meagre first aid kit so we’d be better prepared for emergencies. Some research and a bit of shopping around revealed the following…
First aid kit: basics
The National First Aid Academy, Mayo Clinic and Red Cross recommend the following as part of a basic first aid kit;
- Assortment of bandages, gauze, tape, plasters
- Tweezers, scissors, disposable gloves, torch, safety pins
- Antiseptic products (wipes, sprays, creams), assorted topical lotions
- Medications for diarrhoea, pain and fever
- Burnshield and burn dressing
- Instant cold compress
- Disposable CPR mouthpiece
- First aid booklet
- Emergency phone numbers
The most important part of putting together a first aid kit? Knowing how to use everything in there. There is a huge variety of first aid information available on the web; or if you prefer to take a course there are plenty to choose from. Level 1 courses with the National First Aid Academy start at R500.
What first aid kit essentials does your family need?
Are there any special items your family might need for pre-existing medical conditions? Have you got allergy medications, inhalers and an EpiPen? Consider including sunscreen and an after sun product too. Add some protein bars, electrolyte replacement sachets and any other items your family has needed in the past. And don’t forget about the family pets. Useful pet first aid includes: gauze, tape, tweezers and sterile saline solution. Ask your vet if there is anything else you should include for your pet (our dog needed extra blood pressure medication and emergency diabetic supplies).
Your nearest pharmacy will have plenty of selection. I was surprised to find simple and complete first aid kits for well under R200. Be wary of buying ready-made kits, be sure you know what’s inside and the kinds of items that might need to be added. Experts recommend checking your kit 4 times per year and replace used/expired items.
These days we are ready for any reasonable emergency. Even some unreasonable ones; if Armageddon strikes, I think we’ll be prepared!
– Kahea Rusch