Store-bought first aid kits are great in a pinch, but seldom include all the important necessities.
A first aid kit is designed to immediately help an injured person and minimize further injuries. To help you build the most complete homemade first aid kit, we have a few helpful tips on what essentials you'll want to include.
To start - pick a versatile container with lots of compartments or storage spaces to keep everything organized, like a small tool or tackle box. When filling your container, keep like items together and items you'll expect to use most frequently on top.
It's best to assess the injury risk in your lifestyle and fill your kit accordingly. The main categories to consider would be wound protection and containment, infection defense, tools and accessories, pain management, and emergency information.
The key items we like to include in our kits are:
Bandaging: bandages in different sizes and shapes, butterfly sutures, gauze and surgical tape.
Infection control: antibiotic ointment cream, antiseptic wash, hydrogen peroxide, hand sanitizer.
Tools and instruments: scissors, tweezers, elastic bandage, safety pins, thermometer, disposable gloves, cotton balls and swabs, and tissues.
Pain control: instant hot and cold packs and small container of a pain reliever such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin.
Important information: emergency contact numbers for family doctor, medical center, poison control, etc., and a first aid manual.
Optional extras: include an extra Epi-Pen and extra allergy medication if you have a family member with allergies or spare medicines for specific needs.
Once your kit is filled, store it in a central, easily accessible place in your home or apartment. Because there are several potentially dangerous items, please keep this kit out of a child's reach. Once per year, review the contents to remove anything expired and restock used items.
Taking a first aid class will help you become more prepared for emergency situations. Our Clarksville residents will find first aid training and other classes at Advanced Lifesaving Solutions on North Spring Street.
Remember, first aid kits are intended to temporarily stabilize an injury or illness only, so it's important to know when to call the EMS or visit a medical center.