Not every injury will require you to go to the hospital. With enough items in your first aid kit, you can afford to reserve those hospital visits to issues that go beyond the scope of first aid kits. For instance, when preparing meals using a knife, you have to be careful. The knives have sharp blades and require that you avoid unnecessary distractions when using them.

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All the same, in the event that you have injured yourself with it, it is reassuring to know that you can pull out a first aid kit, deal with the situation at hand, and avoid a night in the emergency room. A good first aid kit should help you deal with issues like bee stings, minor falls, allergic reactions, burns and other similar accidents. You should have one in your car as well as at home.

Putting Together First Aid Items

To some the idea of having a first aid kit seems somewhat foreign, yet it is quite simple if you think about it. It can be as simple as taking some basic, easily obtainable items, placing them in a container and storing it in your medicine cabinet or in a closed compartment in your car. Some people prefer including in a first aid kit everything they can think of that could help in an emergency. Others prefer packing the bare essentials.

First Aid Kit Essentials

Whether you are buying a first aid kit from a drugstore or assembling it at home, there are certain essentials that it should contain. They include:

  • Over-the-counter drugs for injuries, burns and cuts
  • Special medicines that certain family members might need
  • Bandages and dressings including eye pads, swabs, sterile cotton balls, gauze role, adhesive tape and elastic bandage to take care of sprains
  • Instant cold packs
  • Aluminum finger splint
  • Latex gloves
  • Thermometer
  • Safety pins – used to fasten bandages and splints
  • Medicine spoon and syringe for administering medicine
  • A kitchen turkey baster or other such suction devices for flushing out wounds
  • Breathing barrier – used to give CPR
  • Scissors or a knife (you can buy these from – often used to cut the gauze
  • Tweezers – often used for removing small splinters, insect stingers and ticks

Other more comprehensive first aid kits might include the following:

  • Blanket
  • A first aid manual
  • A comprehensive list of local emergency numbers
  • Alcohol wipes and hand sanitizers
  • Calamine lotion – used to treat poison ivy and stings
  • Sterile eyewash saline
  • Hydrocortisone ointment, cream or lotion – for treating itchiness
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Fever medicines
  • Pain relieving medicines
  • Nasal decongestant
  • Antihistamine
  • Anti-nausea medication – treats various nausea types including motion sickness
  • Laxative – treats constipation
  • Antacid – treats stomach upsets
  • Anti-diarrhea medication

Buy a First Aid Kit

For those not interested in going through the whole process of creating a first aid kit from scratch, they can buy one from drugstores around the country. The American Red Cross also sells them. After the purchase, it is important to take a look at what is contained in the kit and familiarize yourself with how to us them. Look for a first aid manual or take a first aid course.

No one knows when the next time is to use a first aid kit. That is why it is wise to prepare one and keep it safely at home and in your car. This way, you can rest easy even when an emergency happens, or have some piece of mind on your way to the hospital.

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