Planning for An Emergency: The Whole First Aid Kit and Caboodle

first-aid-kitNothing is more frustrating than reaching for the tube of antibiotic ointment in your emergency kit, only to find it’s empty, or rummaging through the drawer in an attempt to find the roll of gauze you thought you saw last week, only to find out your kids used it to make mummy clothes for their dolls.

Creating a home first aid kit helps keep all your first-aid items together in an easily accessible place and is relatively easy and inexpensive to do. To create your emergency supply kit, you can either start from scratch, or purchase a first-aid kit from a local drug store and then tailor it to your family’s needs.

Items For a First Aid Kit:

In either case, make sure the following items are included in your family’s emergency supply kit:

  • Contact list
    • Keep a list of emergency contacts, including those of close friends, neighbors and family members. Make sure you include contact information for your primary care physician and, if you have children, their pediatrician.
  • Copies of insurance and medical records
  • List of prescribed medications and known allergies
    •  Having this information readily available helps paramedics and other medical professionals treat you more effectively
  • Prescriptions
    • Make sure you stock any medications prescribed by your physician, such insulin, epinephrine injectors (EpiPens), heart medication, asthma inhalers, etc.
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Allergy and anti-itch medications
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Aspirin
  • Antacid
  • Burn ointment
  • Eye wash solution
    • In addition to rinsing irritants out of your eyes, eye wash can be used a s a general decontaminant
  • Laxative
  • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers

Store your emergency supply kit in a cool dry place and periodically check it for items that need to be restocked. Also check expiration dates on medications. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the kit is located, and encourage everyone to put it back where they found it. That way your set for the next time you need it.

Though a well-organized, easily accessible emergency first aid kit is great for treating various bump-and-bruise situations, it’s also important to recognize when a situation is more serious and requires medical treatment. Familiarize yourself with the 10 conditions that warrant a visit to your local emergency room. Better yet, download the list and keep it in your new first-aid kit.

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