Setting up a home first aid kit doesn’t tend to rank high on people’s list of priorities. I’ll be honest; I don’t even have one but that’s something I intend on rectifying asap.
It’s not that I don’t have the essentials – it’s that I can’t find them or remember where I put them. Cotton buds are kept in the bathroom, antiseptic is under the kitchen sink, and then there are bits and pieces in the bedroom.
Unfortunately, my four and half-year-old nephew found this out the hard way. After cutting his foot in my courtyard, he waited, bleeding and crying, as I rushed from room to room trying to find the promised Band-Aid. Needless to say, he was not impressed.
It was at that moment I decided it was time to take action! I set out to put together a visible, accessible and nephew-friendly first aid kit.
These are the steps I followed:
Cover the basics
The first step to setting up a home first aid kit is to make sure you have all the necessities for general ambulatory care stored together in one place, usually in a trusty storage box like a fishing tackle or sewing box. For instance my basics are:
|Bandaids / Bandages||Strapping Tape / Adhesive Dressing||Scissors|
|Magnifying Glass||Safety Pins||Torch + Batteries|
|Antiseptic||Saline Solution||Paper + Pen|
|Cotton Balls / Cotton Buds||Thermometer||Superglue|
|Aspirin / Paracetamol||Tweezers||Paw Paw Ointment|
This may seem like an obvious list but it is surprising how often we overlook the basics. We can over-prepare, worrying about life or death scenarios and forget the simple things like paper and pen.
Customise kit to your health needs
Once you have covered the basics and stocked your kit with the essentials, it’s time to start thinking about the health risks you are most likely to face and customise your kit accordingly. Are you allergic to bees? Does your kit need an EpiPen or adrenalin?
Think also about the types of accidents that may occur in your home. Perhaps it is prone to spiders? Maybe you have a pool or large storage of hazardous chemicals?
Consider the risks and find a suitable medical solution. Accidents always come as a surprise but with a little bit of foresight you can prepare yourself for most situations.
Include emergency numbers and guides
Create a list of emergency contact numbers. If you’re in serious trouble, the last thing you will want to do is look up the number for the Poison Hotline. Adding the contact numbers for your GP and any specialists that are familiar with family histories is worthy of inclusion in your emergency contacts list.
It’s also important to have information on what to do in an emergency. Look for manuals on how to treat head and eye injuries, burns, cuts, broken bones, bites, bee stings and drowning. This is where researching emergency situation ‘how-tos’ and printing them off for quick reference for adding to your kit can be handy.
Given my medical expertise does not extend much further than Band-Aid application, I find it greatly reassuring to know I have guides to help me.
Here are some useful online resources:
Find a visible place to store your kit
Once your kit is complete, the final step is to store it. Find a spot in a dry, cool area where it is visible and easily accessible.
It’s true, a first aid kit is unlikely to be your most attractive household item but trust me, you will be very thankful it’s there.
After all, you never know when a curious four and half-year-old might land himself in a spot of trouble!
Keen to learn first aid? St John’s offers some great easy courses. Check out what’s happening in your state by visiting their website and checking the local courses near you.
So enough stalling, let’s get to it! Download the home first aid checklist today and take action now! Building your first aid kit is as simple as printing out the checklist and ticking off the items – so don’t delay any longer!
Where do you keep your home first aid kit? Keen to hear where you store yours! Share in the comments.
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