In case of a medical emergency, you’ll be glad you checked
At one point or another, it’s happened to all of us. We hurt ourselves, go dig out the first aid kit, and quickly discover that what we need isn’t in there. Not only is this frustrating, but it could also end up being a real problem for a serious injury.
Most homes and workplaces have first aid kits, but how often does anybody really check to see whether it’s well-stocked or replace missing items? In the event of an emergency, this small box may make a huge difference, which is why it has to contain the essentials.
How to choose the right kit
Before you know what your first aid kit should contain, it’s important to think about your situation. If, for example, you have young children, you’ll want it to include things like a thermometer, bulb suction device, and maybe some colorful adhesive bandages. If you do a lot of hiking or camping, you’ll want to consider a larger kit with items such as tourniquets that can help with more severe injuries. If you drive a lot, it may be a good idea to keep your kit in your car or get a separate one.
What every kit should have
No matter who the kit may be for, it is important that it at least has the basics. The Red Cross has an extensive list of what this should include and the quantities. Here’s a brief rundown:
- Medical tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Cold compress
- Rubbing alcohol
- First aid instruction book
First aid kit tips
Keep it in a centralized spot
The only thing worse than not finding what you need in a first aid kit is not being able to find the kit at all. Whether at home or in an office, everyone should know where it is and be able to get to it quickly.
Check it regularly
You just never know if somebody may have taken something out of the kit, which is why it should be checked periodically.
Certain things in the kit – like creams and ointments – have expiration dates. Replacing these items before they become old or ineffective is important.
What businesses need to know about first aid kits
All businesses have to adhere to the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and one rule stipulates that “adequate first aid supplies” must be on hand. Although the agency doesn’t have specific first aid kit content requirements, employers need to “ensure that reasonably anticipated supplies are available.”
Businesses also have to augment their kits if need be for changing circumstances. And if there is a chance that employees will come into contact with blood or other infectious materials while using any first aid supplies, an employer needs to provide personal protective equipment, including gowns, gloves, and masks.
So, which kit should you buy?
This one is really up to you. There are numerous first aid kits available, and most of them can probably give you what you need. This guide covers some of the best kits for the home, office, and car. The important thing is that you don’t buy a kit and then just forget about it (or forget where you put it).
And you should know how to effectively use everything in it. At One Beat CPR, we offer a class that will help you learn what to do in the event of an emergency, including how to handle broken bones, stings, and bleeding. Check out our first aid class schedule here and if you have any questions, please contact us.