First aid can save a life, so it’s important to have a few supplies around the house. Whether it’s a cut finger, or something more complex, a few supplies can make a big difference when there’s an emergency. Be sure to get a first aid kit stocked at home and check the use by dates regularly to ensure things are sterile and useable. Here are some basics to get you started.
Plasters are ideal for dealing with small cuts, as they stop dirt getting into the wound while it’s healing. Clean the wound, dry it and apply the plaster, and this is usually enough to deal with smaller cuts. Make sure you have some kid-friendly waterproof options on hand too.
- A cold compress
If you don’t have space in your freezer for a cold compress, you can buy a gel compress that cools down quickly when activated. Cold compresses are ideal for first aid kits because:
- They reduce swelling and inflammation
- They restrict blood flow to the area, so can slow down bleeding
- They numb the injured area
- They are soothing and comforting
Ran out of cold compresses? You can simply use frozen peas or similar wrapped in a tea towel.
- Bandages and slings
If possible, it’s worth taking a first aid course, as this will show you how to best apply and use bandages and slings. Having some items such as a universal collar & cuff sling with ties can be extremely useful when you need to elevate a limb to stop bleeding or swelling, allowing you to go and seek medical attention.
- Antiseptic wipes
Useful, especially when you don’t have access to clean water, antiseptic wipes can be used to clean cuts and grazes before applying plasters. They are essential to have around the house when you have kids, as they often get minor injuries such as cuts that need cleaning.
- Tweezers and scissors
Splinters are another common injury that can usually be dealt with at home, so make sure you have some tweezers just for this purpose. It’s also worth having some small scissors in your first aid kit, as otherwise, you may not be able to find any when you need them.
- A thermometer
Fever is a sign of many different conditions, and when you call a medical professional, one of the first things they’ll ask is whether you have a temperature. It’s therefore worth making sure you have a thermometer at hand to get an accurate reading, so you can assess whether it’s an emergency or you simply have a slight temperature.
Many people regret not having a first aid kit around the house when problems strike. From an injury to a sudden illness, just a few supplies can ensure you’re ready for all sorts of situations. You should also consider taking a first aid course, so you know how to use the various pieces of kit, and so if an emergency happens, you can stay calm and know what to do.