When it comes to handling medical emergencies at home you’ve got to be prepared for anything. The problem is, most commercially available first aid kits are actually of little use, and cost way more than they provide. They usually contain little more than “filler” items — a few bandages, some gauze and tape — and can actually lead you to a false sense of security. The truth is, when confronted with a laceration, for example, you’d do better to use a clean dish cloth to apply pressure to the wound.
But medical problems are not only skin deep. Sprains, headaches, nausea, allergic reactions and fevers — to name only a few — often need immediate attention too.
Here is a practical, detailed list of what every well-equipped home first aid kit should include. Before you run out and purchase these items, remember to get a container for them. In my home a tackle box works well but you may find a paper bag does the trick, too.
Severe Allergic Reactions
If a family member or guest has a history of severe allergic reactions (to bee stings or peanuts, for example) you should include an epipen in your kit. Your family doctor will write you a prescription for one.
A card listing important phone numbers, such as poison control, your family physician, your spouse and/or other emergency contact, should be taped inside the lid of your kit. You should also include directions to your home or cottage. Let’s face it: in an emergency situation or when calling 911 it is often difficult to think clearly. These lists will enable you or another party to give out the required information correctly. Remember to inform babysitters or houseguests of the location of your first aid kit.
I hope these guidelines will help you put together a practical first aid kit for your home. Once you have it organized, I suggest that you search your cupboards for any medications you no longer need and dispose of them. Do the same for those that may be expired. In fact, you should check the expiration dates of the medications in your kit at least once a year. And please, keep all medication safely out of reach of children.
Advil / Motrin
Tweezers and Safety Pin
hit print and take this handy list to the pharmacy!
The top first aid kits at Amazon: