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first aid kit - what you need and when...

Welcome to the First Aid Kit checklist.

I hope you are reading this in preparation, and there is no emergency now...

Should you have an emergency, and you do not know how to deal with this, do call your Country's emergency number.

current emergency

For an Emergency in the UK call 999.  For Healthcare advice, non-emergency contact 111.

First Aid Kit boxFirst Aid box

Here though we are going to look at what first aid kits you will need, when you'll be most likely to use them and how you should go about putting a first aid kit together.

what first aid kits are you likely to need...

Going through your daily life, you'll probably quite unaware of the number of first aid kits you are in close proximity to.

Unsure? Well this list will show you the likely places that a first aid kit can and will be found...

Whether you have put these kits together yourself, or purchased ready made ones - having them around is a step in the right direction.

Next you need to be confident that the contents reflects what's truly needed for the kits' environment, and that you know how to use the contents (particularly relevant if you've purchased a ready made kit).

when do you need a first aid kit?

events first aider

Ensure that you are qualified to give First Aid to others.

You should be certified by a recognised body and your training MUST be current (up-to-date).

This is to protect you and those that you will be caring for.

The obvious answer is in an emergency. However, a kit could be referred to in other instances, which don't truly conform to the word 'emergency'...

  • For administration of plasters to cuts and bumps such as paper cuts
  • To take your patients temperature
  • To give prescribed medication to it's recipient
  • In your annual review

I think the most frequently used item I have in any of the first aid kits I've maintained is plasters especially with the different sizes, shapes and therefore uses. I talk to you more about these when we look at refilling your kit.

It is also relevant once a year, or in preparation of use, that the First Aider does go through their kit.

You will be looking for expiration dates, damaged packaging, and stock levels to ensure that you will not be presented with an emergency that you cannot cater for.

my first aid experience

I myself, have been qualified First Aider for children during my time with the Girl Guides.

I served many a Pack Holiday during my time with the Association and never minded volunteering for the First Aid position.

So frequently seen with sick bucket, cold compresses, and a big blue (should of been toolbox) first aid box, I was fortunate enough never to have anything more serious to deal with.

Nowadays, I have currently relinquished my role within the Girl Guide Association, to concentrate on my family.

My own kit remains virtually unchanged these days except it is full of Winnie-the-Pooh plasters, baby & child creams, and the all important medicines for suppressing childhood temperatures!

how to put a first aid kit together

When putting your own first aid box together, you will need to make an assessment of where this box is to be used, and the types of emergencies that it will be required for.

Here is a generic listing of what you can include, in most first aid boxes...

  • Straight Plasters - consider whether you need wateproof, blue, or normal.  A selection of sizes is likely to be wise.
  • micropore tape
  • straight bandages
  • scissors
  • gauze
  • antiseptic cream
  • decongestant

Remember to include any suitable plasters, bandages, or creams if you suffer with a particular ailment that could require treatment.

If you have a more active family, your remote from doctor/hospital care, or you are in charge of a kit for a child's organisation; then you may wish to consider adding some of these items into your kit...

  • sling
  • compress packs
  • shaped plasters and bandages
  • eye treatments, including an eye bath
  • soluble pain relief
  • pain relief tablets
  • tweezers
  • bite creams and ointments

Keeping your kit in a safe place and in a location known by all occupants is best; however you may wish to keep the box locked.

There are pros and cons to this, for one you always have to know where the key is, however I would suggest in keeping a spare key safe just in case; on the other hand, at least you will be confident that any children could come to no harm.

› First Aid Kit