Injuries and accidents, as much as we don’t want to happen, can occur anywhere at any time. You cannot deny that they really do occur, so instead of being unprepared, it would be much better to be armed to deal with them when they come. Though there are ready-made first aid kits that you can buy anywhere, making one yourself can help you choose high-quality products that you will actually need. Here is a guide on first aid kits to help you put together one.
Start with the Primary Considerations
Before you begin organizing your things, think about these things first:
- Perform a risk analysis – Think about the most common possible injury-related and medical risks you might encounter in your daily life. Write them all down and look at all the environmental hazards around you. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, write all the possible symptoms that needed to be addressed.
- Answer the following questions –
- Who are you creating this first aid kit for? – A personal first aid kit would be different from the one that is meant for you alone, you and your partner, your family with young kids, or your family with elderly members.
- What are the activities that you usually do? – Is this a first aid kit for generic home and office use? Will this be used in a high-risk environment related to jobs like construction, electrical work, or mechanical work?
- Where would you store this first aid kit? – You can opt to keep your first aid kit in your kitchen, in your room, in your office desk, in your car, or in your backpack.
- In that place, how far away are you from the nearest medical facility? – If you are in a situation where a clinic or hospital is 5 to 10 minutes away, you can store fewer things compared to people who have limited or zero medical resources.
- Why did you decide to create a first aid kit? – Did you plan to do this because of prior experience? Or, was this because you or someone close to you has a medical condition?
- How prepared do you seek to be? – A first aid kit can be a simple one with a few tools, or it can be one that rivals what small clinics have. It is all up to you.
Building Your First Aid Kit
- Decide on the container that you will use as a kit. – It can be a pouch, a bag, a toolbox, or a soft-shelled case. The size would be dependent on your answers to the consideration questions.
- Purchase the essential first aid items.
- Over The Counter Medicines – You can get a few medications for emergency cases. For instance, you can get Ibuprofen for pain and Paracetamol for fever. You can also purchase antihistamines for allergic reactions and Aspirin for heart-related concerns. If you have specific health concerns like insulin or epi-pens, you should also have them ready.
- Burn Treatments – You can purchase burn gel packets or ointments for concerns like this.
- Bandages – Bandages are universal items that you can use as a sling, a pressure dressing for bleeds, or you can tie it to help fractures or splints.
- Gauze – Paper towels or tissues might not always be around to help control bleeding, so you should invest in dressing. There are basic 4×4 pads or rolled gauze that is versatile to use.
- Antibiotic Ointments – This is important to have wounds disinfected.
- Band-Aids – It might seem simple, but band-aids are essential for tiny cuts and lacerations. They come in various designs and types. The waterproof ones and the fabric ones are handy to have in your first-aid kit.
- Wound Cleaners – Though the best case will always be soap and water, antiseptic wipes can go a long way. You can also include hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol.
- Depending on your needs, add emergency eye care supplies.
- Eye Pads – Used to cover injured eyes from additional contamination and exposure.
- Eye Wash and Eye Cups – Eyecups are filled with an eyewash, and then the cup is placed over the eye to rinse and get rid of dirt or debris.
- Eye Magnet with Loop – Used in removing metallic particles from the eye with minimal intrusion.
- Lubricating Eye Drops – Used to help dislodge or remove foreign bodies naturally. If you are using contacts then it is a good idea to get a lens auto-washer.
- Magnifying Glass or Pen Light – Used to see the eye clearer in case it is too dark
- Cotton Buds – Used for removal of foreign bodies
- Should it be needed, here are other additional items for the first aid kit.
- Surgical tape
- Anti-diarrheal loperamide tablets
- Electrolyte drink or tablets
- Self-adhering elastic bandages
- Liquid bandages
- Hot/cold compress
- Tweezers and scissors
- Disposable gloves
- A list of all emergency phone numbers
- Flashlight with batteries
- Anesthetic spray or lotion
- Safety pins
- Dental kit
Other Important Things to Note
- Don’t forget that first aid has its limitations – A first aid kit does not equal to definitive care. You should still consult medical professionals in a facility. First aid is only helpful as a temporary stabilizing solution. Before doing anything else, the first action must be to call for professional help.
- Place a copy of you and your family’s medical information in your wallet and/or your first aid kit – If you or one of your family members regularly take medications, have prescription allergies, and have significant medical histories, the list will be a big help. When emergency situations occur, most of the time, people are scattered brained and incapacitated, too. The information paper you should prepare must include:
- your name
- date of birth
- blood type
- height and weight
- emergency contact information – multiple contact options would be better
- list of prescription medication, dosages, the reason for taking medicine, including supplements and vitamins
- list of allergies, whether drugs, food, or medicine
- medical history
- surgical history – include approximate dates
There’s no denying that first aid kits can have the power to save a life, especially in critical situations. Now that you know how to make one, you should also consider creating a couple more to increase your preparedness and cover all your bases. You should also consider getting first aid training to help people around you in emergency conditions.