Today’s Tip: How to make your own First Aid kit.
Making your own First Aid kit for your home or car doesn’t need to be a hassle. All of the items that are needed can be purchased at the supermarket or at a pharmacy. None of the pieces are particularly expensive either. It’s not a costly activity and it’s practical- you’ll find yourself relieved to know you have exactly what you need when someone is injured and you also know exactly where it is.
The first thing you will need is a container to carry your bits and pieces in- I tend to favour a plastic toolbox with a handle. These can be bought at low cost stores like The Reject Shop or Bunnings. Make sure it’s waterproof. An alternative is an insulated, padded bag like the ones you use for your cold food at the supermarket.
All basic first aid kits should include the following:
- Band-Aids: have a range of sizes on hand and a mix of plastic and Elastoplast. Some people are allergic to Elastoplast and will get an angry, itchy rash from it.
- Gauze pads: you’ll want these in a couple of different sizes and levels of thickness. They are great for putting over an open wound that is actively bleeding.
- First aid tape: this adhesive tape will hold gauze pads in place and is thicker and sturdier than sellotape which is not a suitable alternative as it doesn’t adhere to skin.
- Alcohol wipes: these are important for cleaning tweezers before you use them and disinfecting anything else metal or plastic (e.g. thermometer) before and after use.
- Eye bath and saline: in case you need to help someone with a small foreign body in their eye.
- Bandages: elastic, crepe, woven and triangular. These different types of bandages are perfect for sprains, making a sling, or holding a splint in place.
- Steri-Strips: these are great for cuts that don’t quite need stitches, but need more than a simple band aid. Steri-Strips are thin and easy to use; they pull two sides of a cut together and help seal it.
- Instant cold pack: these packs don’t need freezing or refrigeration, but do the same job as a traditional ice or cold pack; You snap them and they become cold very quickly.
- Topical treatments: Sunscreen, after sun spray, aloe vera, insect repellent, ‘Soov’ (anti-itch cream for mozzie bites, grass rash etc.)
- Medication: Panadol/Ibuprofen: oral painkillers. Claratyne or Telfast: antihistamines.
- Tools of the trade: tweezers, scissors, safety pins, thermometer, small torch, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, disposable CPR mask, clean dry hand towel.
Make sure that the kit is kept somewhere where the whole family is aware. In case of serious injury or emergency- go to your GP or Emergency department or call triple zero (000). The items included in this basic DIY first aid kit are intended for use in minor injuries only. Don’t forget to replace items as you use them.
Do you have a first aid kit? What’s in yours?