Safety Tip of The Week: Contents of a First Aid Kit

Today’s safety tip is by guest blogger and author Chris Redding.  Be sure to read her Bystander CPR post from Monday.

Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. When she isn’t writing, she works for her local hospital. She has been an American Heart Association CPR Instructor for more than 16 years.

Her latest release, Corpse Whisperer is out on Kindle. A paramedic must solve a murder that hasn’t happened. Incendiary, about an EMT and firefighter trying to solve a string of arsons, will be out in print and electronic mid-December.

Welcome back, Chris!

Today’s safety tip is about first aid kits and what you should have in them. My book of reference is the American Heart Association’s Heartsaver First Aid Student Workbook.

First you should have important numbers in there. 911, but also the Poison Control Hotline. In the US it is 1-800-222-1222. Easy to remember.

Next you need stuff in case someone bleeds.  Gloves are your best tool. You do not want to touch another person’s blood if possible.

Bandages in various sizes work well. They are square and come in two inch, three inch and even larger. You will want adhesive tape to secure them. Along with these items, keep antibiotic ointment. Any CVS or Walgreens has a generic version.

Butterfly bandages help hold wounds closed.

Antiseptic wipes are good for cleaning wounds prior to bandaging.

Burn dressing. There are various kinds, but they all have a cooling gel to stop the burn. Which is important in burns. That is why you run one under cool water for as long as you can stand it. You stop the burning.

Along with the dressing, a first aid kit should have burn treatment, but a non healthcare professional should probably not apply that without advice.

Cold packs are good for sprains and strains or bug bites. Anything that is going to swell, you can use a cold pack on.

A good first aid kit will include an eye patch. If someone scratches their eye or injures it in some way, you can use this along with tape to secure it over their eye. An eye wash is important if the victim gets something in his eye that can be washed out.

Next on the list is a triangular bandage. If an arm needs to be immobilized this is your tool.

Tweezers can be used to remove splinters. A pair of scissors or, better yet, trauma shears are useful for cutting things.

Last, but not least, a CPR barrier. This is one you can actually put on your key chain. If your kit is traveling with you and may be used on strangers, this is a must. You don’t want to put your mouth on just anyone. The risk of contracting anything serious is low, but why play the odds?

Great advice, Chris!  Thanks for blogging with us this week!

4 responses to “Safety Tip of The Week: Contents of a First Aid Kit

  1. I keep a first aid kit in the house and one in each car, but they haven’t been restocked in ages. I’m going to print this out as a reminder.

    Thanks Chris!

  2. We’ve got a nice first aid kit in the dojo, but I believe the antibiotic ointment and ibuprofen are past their expiration dates. Need to clean that out and fill it with with new.

  3. I was just going through my car’s first aid kit the other day. All the ointments have expired, and we’ve pilfered most of the bandages over the last couple of years. Your post was a good reminder of what I need to restock it with. Thanks!

  4. Glad I could help everyone.

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