First Aid Tips – What Should Your First Aid Kit Contain?

First aid kits come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from personal kits to large major incident response bags. It’s always a good idea to keep a first aid kit at home and in your car, as you never know when it may be needed. Here’s a general list of items which you should keep in your first aid kit:

– Wound dressings and bandages of assorted sizes. These are used to deal with serious cuts and major bleeding. Make sure you have a variety of sizes (small, medium and large).

– Triangular bandages / slings. Triangular bandages can be used to make a variety of slings and to help splint injured limbs. Otherwise, you can carry pre-made collar ‘n cuff slings for arm injuries.

– Plasters of assorted sizes. Remember to include blister plasters. For those who are allergic to plasters, there are a variety of hypoallergenic plasters on the market.

– Antiseptic wipes. Try to find wipes which do not contain alcohol as these are gentler on the skin.

– Non-adhesive dressings and tape. Sometimes plasters are not the right shape / size to cover an injury, especially large grazes or abrasions. In this case, you can use a non-adhesive dressing secured in place with medical tape.

– Support bandages for sprains / strains.

– Gauze swabs or cotton wool. This can be very useful for cleaning cuts and grazes

– Emergency foil blanket. Normally large blankets are too impractical to keep with a first aid kit, so these small foil blankets can come in very handy to protect casualties from exposure.

– Sterile saline solution. This can be bought in small pods or larger bottles. You can use sterile saline solution to wash out eye’s and clean cuts & grazes.

– Disposable ice-packs. Be careful as these can end up being quite expensive if you use a lot of them for sprains / strains.

– Scissors, pen and notepad.

– Faceshield / pocket mask for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation to create a barrier between yourself and the casualty when giving rescue breaths.

– Disposable gloves. Try to avoid using latex gloves as an increasing number of people are allergic to latex.

– First aid guide / book.

– Any medication that you use.

– Hi-viz jacket. This is more relevant to a car first aid kit. If you are helping at a road traffic accident, it is always advisable to wear a hi-viz jacket to make you more visible to other road users.

Remember that all first aid supplies should be sterile and be in-date. You should check your kit often to ensure that everything is still in-date. Keep a note of any supplies used so that you can replace them.

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