Every home needs a first aid kit. It is an organized container of the most commonly used items when responding to minor or severe injuries. It should contain essential items used to temporarily manage common symptoms and conditions before seeking the assistance of a healthcare provider. This means that every adult (not children) in the home should be able to use the items properly.
Your home’s first aid kit should be updated regularly, both the content and the instruction manual inside. Someone in the home should be in charge of this, consciously looking at accidents around the home and using feedback from family members to improve the contents of your first aid kit.
Half or more of all accidents happen in or around the home. Providing first aid to the victim can help prevent injuries getting worse.
You should have a first aid kit in the home:
- To provide care for simple or mild injuries like cuts and bruises.
- To resolve simple or mild medical cases at home such as headaches or mild fevers.
- To aid someone with severe injuries and prevent their condition from worsening.
A first aid kit should contain:
- A first aid manual (with an emergency contact number).
- Bandage or gauze pads.
- Methylated spirit or alcohol wipes.
- Cotton wool.
- Disposable latex gloves.
- Iodine solution.
- Safety pins.
- Soap or disinfectant hand gel.
- Splint or other supports.
- Body thermometer.
- Instant cold pack.
Your first aid kit should have over-the-counter medicines like pain relievers (paracetamol and ibuprofen), anti-allergy pills (piriton and loratadine), antacids (mist-magnesium citrate) and balms (methylsalicylate, diclofenac or menthol). Medicines used to treat and manage common conditions (cuts, bruises, constipation and diarrhoea) and symptoms (like fever, headache and rash) should also be present in the kit. These items do not have to be in a medical bag. A reusable ziplock bag or nylon bag can be used.
First aid kits should be accessible and kept in a cool, dry place like a cupboard. It should be placed out of the reach of children.
You can either buy a first aid kit or you can make one yourself by purchasing the necessary items from a pharmacy. Keep the contents of your first aid kit up to date and filled with items that you may need during a medical emergency in or around the home. Keep an emergency phone number in or posted on the first aid kit so any caregiver can easily get help when needed.