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Preparing Your First Aid Kit

Woman making emergency kit

Print the full article here!

We all have things in our home that keep us safe, healthy, and happy:

Lots of food and water

Clothes that keep us warm and dry

Comfortable bed and pillow

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Fun things that entertain

  • Books
  • Television
  • Music

A first aid kit is another item we need in our home.

A well-stocked first aid kit can help keep you safe and healthy in your own home.

You may have some questions, like:

  • What items should I put in my first aid kit?
  • How can these items help me when I get hurt or feel sick?
  • How often should I check to make sure that I have all of the things that I’ll need?

We’re going to help answer these questions for you!

What is a first aid kit?

A first aid kit is a box that holds all of the equipment, medications, and cleansing solutions you will need to give first aid to yourself or someone else.

You and other people, including your support person, can use your first aid kit.

What is first aid?

First aid is the help that you can give someone who has been injured.

  • First aid is for minor injuries, not serious ones

First aid can be done anywhere, especially at home.

First aid can be:

  • Washing and covering a small cut
  • Putting ice on a bruise
  • Taking someone’s temperature

Who can do first aid?

You and other people, including your support person, can do first aid.

You’ll need to let your support person, friends, and family know where you’ll keep your first aid kit.

However, some things may need to be done by professionals, like paramedics or doctors.

If you aren’t sure about doing something, the best thing to do is tell someone or call 911!

You should call 911 immediately if someone:

  • Is unconscious
    • This means that the person isn’t awake and doesn’t respond to anything
  • Is severely bleeding
  • Has broken bones
  • Is in shock
  • In these cases and any other situations in which you feel you can’t or shouldn’t give first aid, call 911!

Some equipment you will need in your first aid kit are:

  • Bandages (all sizes)
  • Sterile gauze bandages
  • Cotton balls and cotton tipped swabs
  • Instant cold packs
  • Thermometer
  • Disposable latex or synthetic gloves

Why do you need so much equipment in your first aid kit?

Injuries from household accidents can happen at any time and you want to be well-prepared for any situation.

Because we can’t predict accidents, it’s good to keep a variety of equipment in your first aid kit, like:

  • Bandages for minor cuts and scrapes
  • Instant cold packs for bumps and bruises
  • Thermometer to take temperatures that are caused by fevers

Here are ointments, medications, and cleansing solutions you’ll need.

Ointments

  • Hydrocortisone cream (for itchy skin)
  • Antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin

Medications

  • Pain medication, like Tylenol or Advil

Cleansing solutions

  • Antiseptic solution, like peroxide (to clean and disinfect minor cuts)
  • Eye wash (saline)

Check out this list for items you’ll need.

You’ll need to find a container to hold all of these items.

Choose something that:

  • Will last a long time
  • Has a lot of room and is lightweight
  • Has handles and is easy to open and close

Label this container in large letters with a marker. You can call it: My First Aid Kit.

You’ll also want to buy a First Aid Manual or print out some instructions from this website.

Now that we have our first aid kit, let’s visit Caleb, a basketball player.

Sometimes, Caleb falls down and scrapes his knee.

What can you use from your first aid kit to help him feel better?

  • Clean his scrape with soap and warm water.
  • Remove any bits of gravel or dirt.
  • Gently pat the wound dry.
  • Apply some antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover with a bandage.

Caleb is glad that you have a well-stocked first aid kit because he feels much better now!

Remember: do not let anyone else use medication prescribed by your doctor.

Later, Caleb and Bella come to your house for dinner.

Bella is helping you in the kitchen and accidentally burns her hand on a hot pan.

First, decide if this is a minor burn. This presentation can help.

With your first aid kit, you can help her.

  • Hold her hand under cool, running water for a few minutes. Do not put ice or grease (like butter) on the burn.
  • Loosely cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage.

With practice, you can help yourself and others with your first aid kit.

You can be well-prepared for small accidents around the home or nearby, like:

  • Falling down on the pavement
  • Hitting your thumb with a hammer
  • Burning your hand on the stove

With a well-stocked first aid kit, you can help make yourself and others feel better.

Use this checklist to put together your first aid kit.

You will need to check your kit every few months.

Replace any items that you’ve used or are missing.

Check expiration dates on medicines, ointments, lotions, and other cleansing solutions.

  • Throw away those that have expired (are too old to use) and replace them.

Set a schedule for yourself for when you will check your kit.

You can also check out these links to help you with first aid and your kit:

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Last updated on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 15:00