A first aid kit is a box, bag or other container that holds essential supplies used to treat common injuries such as cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains, and more.
More advanced first aid kits may include emergency survival supplies or convenience items such as water, food, blankets, and local maps.
Regardless of their use, these kits are helpful in many types of situations, making them useful for home, school, office, and even in the car.
The Importance of Having a First Aid Kit
Accidents and injuries can happen anywhere at any time. Keeping a first aid kit with you at all times can prevent minor illnesses from becoming major. It also helps reduce the severity of the injury and prevent the appearance of infection.
In most kits, there are supplies that can treat common cuts, burns, scrapes, and many other ailments. A basic first aid kit should contain the following:
- Triangular or elastic bandages of varying widths
- Non-adhesive dressings of varying sizes
- Disposable gloves, preferably made of non-latex material
- Adhesive medical tape
- Instant cold packs
- Resuscitation mask or face shield
- Scissors and tweezers
- Antibiotic ointment
Many first aid kits also contain over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin. Aspirin in particular may be lifesaving in an adult experiencing chest pain or heart attack symptoms.
Also, the kit must be checked regularly to ensure that all supplies are current and replenished after use. Do an inventory every six months to replace any expired medications or items.
In most workplaces, the assigned first aider ensures this process takes place on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Top 5 Reasons to Keep a First Aid Kit at Home and Office
Treat Injuries Quickly
The use of first aid kits helps those present handle medical emergencies as quickly as possible. This is important, as in many medical emergencies, even a brief delay before treatment is applied can cause irreversible damage.
The kits offer basic and initial care for common injuries like burns, cuts, puncture wounds, etc.
Stop Blood Loss Immediately
Bleeding injuries are messy, and can potentially be life threatening. To stop significant blood loss, apply pressure to the wound and use gauze to cover it. Apply bandage immediately to secure the wound in place.
Without proper medical products accessible, it can be difficult to stop the blood loss, leading to hemorrhagic shock. And while use of non-sterile materials for a dressing is better than no dressing, it can easily give rise to infections.
Relieve the Pain of a Burn Instantly
In a burn or scald injury, first aid treatment is necessary to relieve pain and prevent further damage.
Protect the burn site from further harm and make sure the person is breathing. Cover the area with gauze or a clean cloth, and lift the wound above heart level if possible.
Taking an over-the-counter painkiller from the kit can also help relieve some of the discomfort.
Prevent the Discomfort of Skin Irritation
Insect bites and stings can be immensely uncomfortable and cause skin redness and rashes.
Effective and immediate first aid treatment can make the irritation heal faster more effectively. The use of antiseptic lotions and treating the bite can help prevent scarring. In cases of severe itching, calamine lotion may be used to provide some relief from symptoms.
Be a Helping Hand to Everyone
Keep in mind that friends, families, and strangers around you may not be as prepared as you are. A first aid kit may come in handy if anyone around you suffers an injury – minor or major – that needs immediate treatment.
Take note that small children and the elderly are the most susceptible to accidents and injuries. If you have a kid or an elderly person with you, a first aid kit can be an indispensable resource for keeping them safe and well.
A well-stocked first-aid kit is vital in providing immediate and effective aid for common injuries and illnesses. It’s an essential item to have around the home, useful in the car, and no workplace should ever be without one.
Make sure you store these kits in an easily accessible place that’s beyond the reach of young children. Make sure children are old enough understand how and when to use a first aid kit before allowing them access to it.
Prepare for a wide variety of medical emergencies by taking a professional first aid course. First Aid Courses Darwin offers nationally recognised courses, designed to help students understand and use the most up-to-date first aid techniques.