What to Keep in a First Aid Kit

Young man pulling first aid kit out of a backpack while young woman holds knee and has pained expression on her face - both appear to be hiking in the woodsHave you ever been at work and experienced a paper cut that refused to stop bleeding or fallen down some stairs and scraped your knee? If your employer had a first aid kit that contained bandages, antibiotic ointment, and maybe even some over-the-counter pain reliever, you were probably grateful. Or perhaps you went hiking and picked up a splinter when you grabbed a handrail on a rustic log bridge that carried you over a picturesque stream. If you had a well-stocked first aid kit in your backpack, you were probably able to use tweezers to dislodge the splinter, then apply an antiseptic solution to chase any germs away. Voilà! You could continue communing with nature, worry free.

Many of life’s minor bumps and bruises can be remedied with little fuss by keeping an amply supplied first aid kit on hand. Moreover, having a first aid kit at the ready can sometimes mean more than speedy comfort and pain relief—it can save a life. Consider that administering aspirin from a first aid kit at the first sign of a heart attack can mean the difference between life and death.

At Springfield Urgent Care, our certified medical practitioners stand ready to help Michigan residents in Clarkston, Highland, Hamburg, White Lake, and surrounding communities receive fast and convenient treatment for many types of non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. However, we recognize that minor health conditions can often be treated at home or on the road with the items from a well-stocked first aid kit. In some cases, first aid can help stabilize a patient’s condition and alleviate his or her discomfort until professional medical treatment at an urgent care clinic or emergency room is available. Therefore, we’re pleased to offer the following tips for what to keep in your first aid kit so you’re well-prepared.

Tailoring Your First Aid Kit to Meet Your Needs

There are many pre-stocked first aid kits available for sale, and you’ll find a wide variety of options on the market, ranging from small kits geared toward the needs of backpackers to elaborately outfitted bags or boxes that contain hundreds of items. Whether you decide to buy one or build your own from scratch, you’ll want to make sure the following items are included:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Band-aids in assorted sizes
  • Gauze, adhesive tape, and elastic bandages
  • Scissors and safety pins
  • Rubbing alcohol and/or hydrogen peroxide
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Chewable aspirin
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • A needle and thread
  • Splinting materials
  • Tweezers
  • Tourniquet material
  • Eyewash solution
  • Calamine lotion
  • Instant cold packs
  • Disposable gloves
  • Thermometer
  • Plastic bags
  • Aloe vera gel for sunburn
  • First aid instruction booklet

However, those are just the basics that experts recommend for your first aid kit. You’ll want to think about your activities and other items you or family might need. For instance, if you like to spend time outdoors, you may wish to pack anesthetic swabs for pain and itch relief in the event of a bee or wasp sting. If someone in your home is prone to common allergies, you’ll want to include antihistamines or another type of allergy medication in your first aid kit. And, certainly, if someone in your household has been prescribed epinephrine for use in the event of a life-threatening allergic reaction, you’ll want to include the prescribed auto-injector in your first aid kit.

It’s a good idea to have at least two first aid kits on hand—one inside your home and one in your car, in case you experience an illness or injury while traveling. And, to be truly well-prepared, you should pack your travel first aid kit with emergency contact information, the Poison Control Center helpline number (800-222-1222), a small flashlight, and batteries.

For information about the many nonemergency health care services available to residents of and visitors to Clarkston, Highland, Hamburg, and White Lake, contact Springfield Urgent Care today.