Why Have Them?|
Every household should have a first aid kit as bee stings, cuts and bruises and the occasional headache are common everyday occurence. In most cases, first aid kits are bought from the pharmacist, the Automobile Association, New Zealand Safety or the Order of St John. However, you can easily put together your own kit.
What To Include
A lunch box, medium-size Tupperware container or small water-proof container can easily be utilised as a container for your first aid material. Make sure you include the following:
- Tissues - preferably a pocket size pack for general cleaning.
- Sterile gauze swabs - for cleaning wounds, keep 10 or so in your kit.
- Sticky plasters - get the assorted sizes packs.
- Adhesive strapping- one role, at least 25mm wide and about 2.5m long, use this to hold dressings in place.
- sterile non-adhesive dry dressings - individually packed, 100mm x 100mm. Use these for weeping wounds and cuts.
- Sterile wound dressings - these are cotton wool pads with gauze bandage attached. Suitable for eyepads.
- Stretch bandages - get three basic widths, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm. These can hold dressings in place or support limbs.
- Triangular bandages- two with each edge at least 900mm long, for use as a sling.
- Safety pins - get the rust resistant variety, used for holding bandages in place.
- Scissors- again surgical steel or stainless steel.
- Tweezers - rust resistant, make sure the points line up.
- Plastic bags - used as water or ice containers, for placing dirty dressings.
- Disposable latex gloves - this is to prevent cross-infection (eg patient infecting you or vice-versa!)
- First aid information- a flow chart on CPR for example.
- Important contact numbers- doctors, ambulance, fire department, police.
- painkillers and antiseptic creams- not essential but handy to have anyway, make sure you check expiry dates regularly and discard if necessary.
Where Should I Keep Them
Try to keep two kits - one for the house and one for the car (or boat!). This avoids the possibility of misplacing a kit. You should familiarise yourself with the basic essentials of first aid - as accidents can happen.