There is no doubt about it: first aid kits can sometimes make the difference between life and death. Having one is the first step to being prepared for a medical emergency, but that’s not enough. You also need to make sure that it’s properly stocked, well maintained when things run out and that the items didn’t pass the expiration date.
Buying a well-equipped first aid kit is great, but most people will put it away and totally forget about it. You won’t think that you will ever need it, and hopefully you won’t. But if something unexpected happens, your life or that of a dear one may depend on that exact first aid kit. Unfortunately, some of the items may deteriorate or expire, and they need to be replaced.
So it’s highly important to check the kit regularly and see if anything is missing, is running out or is expired. Also make sure to inform all the family members about where the kit is located, what it contains and how everything should be used.
Check The Kit Every Year
If something bad does happen, replace any items as soon as possible after you’ve used them. You never know when bad luck may strike again. If you haven’t used anything from the kit just yet, make sure to check on it every year. Choose a date each year, for example the 14th of September which is the World First Aid Day.
On that day take the kit together with your family and carefully check everything. Make sure that the items are not deteriorated or expired, and also that sterile products are still sealed. The best way to learn exactly how to use each item in the kit is to take a first aid course.
What Does A First Aid Kit Need To Include?
Here are the essential items that any good first aid kit should contain:
- An abdominal pad – designed to be sterile and absorbent, used to cover abdominal wounds
- Adhesive bandage – used to protect minor wounds from dirt, bacteria or friction. You need a few of various sizes
- Adhesive wound dressing – used to prevent the risk of infection and protect the wound
- Alcohol prep pads – for disinfection and cleaning the area around a wound
- Antiseptic cleaning wipes – used to create a sterile environment
- Butterfly closure strips – used to close small wounds
- A cotton tipped applicator – used to clean difficult areas, remove debris from a wound or apply various treatments
- Cotton balls – used for cleaning wounds, but not only
- First aid CPR face mask – used for resuscitation in cases of cardiac or respiratory arrest
- Cold compress – used for reducing pain and inflammation
- Disposable gloves
- Elbow / knee bandages
- Eye pads
- First aid tape
- Sterile gauze pads – used to stop bleeding and cleaning wounds
- Metal tweezers
- Metal scissors
- Non-adherent pads – that do not stick to the wound
- Safety pins
You can shop for all of these items individually, or you can just get the Protect Life First Aid Kit which includes them all, plus much more!