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Essentials of a First Aid Kit For Home And Traveling

Essentials of a First Aid Kit For Home And Traveling

There is no denying that we have all faced situations in which we have to use a first aid kit and most of these times we are in absolute emergency. So, why not make time to prepare home and travel kits for your family that comes in handy when you really need it.

Now, first aid kits can be basic or comprehensive. What you need depends on your medical training and your distance from professional medical help . Ready-made first aid kits are commercially available from chain stores or outdoor retailers, but you can make a smart, inexpensive first aid kits yourself at home and save some bucks on it.

Home and Travel First Aid Kit Basics

Home first aid kits are usually used for treating minor traumatic injuries like burns, cuts, abrasions, sprains, strains, splinters, stings etc.

First aid kits for travel need to be more comprehensive because a drug store may or may not be accessible. In addition to personal medical items, the kit should contain items to help alleviate the common symptoms of viral respiratory infections such as fever, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, etc.

Make Your Own First Aid Kit

Try to keep your kit small and simple. Stock it with multi-use items. Almost anything that provides good visibility of contents can be used for a household first aid kit.

1. If your kit will be on the move, a water-resistant, drop-proof container is best.

2. Inexpensive nylon bags, personal kits, fanny packs, or makeup cases serve very well.

3. You do not need to spend a lot of money on a fancy "medical bag." Use re-sealable sandwich or oven bags to group and compartmentalize items.

4. Put wound supplies in one bag and medications in another.

Some Must-Have First Aid Kit Essentials

You can buy all items for your first aid kits at a well-stocked drug store. Ask the pharmacist for help in selecting items.

Home kit:

A household first aid kit should include these items:

1. Adhesive tape

2. Anesthetic spray (Bactine) or lotion (Calamine, Campho-Phenique) -- for itching rashes and insect bites

3. 4" x 4" sterile gauze pads -- for covering and cleaning wounds, as a soft eye patch.

4. 2", 3", and 4" Ace bandages -- for wrapping sprained or strained joints, for wrapping gauze on to wounds, for wrapping on splints.

5. Adhesive bandages (all sizes).

6. Oral antihistamines - diphenhydramine (Benadryl causes drowsiness) or loratadine (Claritin doesn't cause drowsiness) -- for allergic reactions, itching rashes. Avoid topical antihistamine creams because they may worsen the rash in some people.

7. Exam gloves - for infection protection, also to make into ice packs when filled with water and frozen

8. Polysporin antibiotic cream - to apply to simple wounds

9. Non-adhesive pads (Telfa) - for covering wounds and burns

10. Pocket mask for CPR

11. Reseal-able oven bag - as a container for contaminated articles, can become an ice pack

12. Safety pins (large and small) - for splinter removal and for securing triangular bandage sling

13. Scissors

14. Triangular bandage -- as a sling, towel, tourniquet

15. Tweezers - for splinter or stinger or tick removal

Travel First Aid Kit Essentials

A travel first aid kit may contain these items:

1. Adhesive tape

2. 4" x 4" sterile gauze pads

3. Antacid -- for indigestion

4. Antidiarrheal (Imodium, Pepto-Bismol, for example)

5. Antihistamine cream

6. Antiseptic agent (small bottle liquid soap) -- for cleaning wounds and hands

7. Aspirin -- for mild pain, heart attack

8. Adhesive bandages (all sizes)

9. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or loratadine (Claritin) -- oral antihistamine
Book on first aid

10. Cigarette lighter -- to sterilize instruments and to be able to start a fire in the wilderness (to keep warm and to make smoke to signal for help, for examples)

11. Cough medication

12. Dental kit -- for broken teeth, loss of crown or filling

13. Exam gloves

14. Small flashlight

15. Ibuprofen (Advil is one brand name)

16. Insect repellant

17. Knife (small Swiss Army-type)

18. Moleskin -- to apply to blisters or hot spots

19. Nasal spray decongestant -- for nasal congestion from colds or allergies

20. Non-adhesive wound pads (Telfa)

21. Polysporin antibiotic ointment

22. Oral decongestant

23. Personal medications and items

24. Phone card with at least 60 minutes of time (and not a close expiration date) plus at least 10 quarters for pay phones and a list of important people to reach in an emergency

25. Plastic reseal-able bags (oven and sandwich)

26. Pocket mask for CPR

27. Safety pins (large and small)

28. Scissors

29. Thermometer

30. Tweezers

Lead pic by: Thinkstock Images , Second pic by: MadaGheorghe (Thinkstock Images)

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