What First Aid supplies and products to include?
A well-stocked first aid kit can help you respond effectively to common injuries and emergencies. It is a must in every home, vehicle, and workplace, as it can reduce the risk of infection or the severity of an injury. Emergency kits typically include a variety of first aid supplies that will help treat cuts, scrapes, sprains, and burns. You can purchase first aid kits at many pharmacies, like Cate’s Chemist, or assemble your own. It’s important to tailor your kit based on your activities and needs.
Basic First Aid Supplies for an Emergency kit
- Crepe bandages of varying widths
- Hypoallergenic (skin) tape
- Triangular bandages
- Adhesive dressing strips (such as Bandaids) in varying sizes
- Gauze bandages and swabs
- Combine dressing pads
- Non-stick dressing pads
- Sterile eye pad
- Alcohol swabs
- Disposable gloves
- Shock (thermal) blanket
- Safety pins
- Notepad and permanent marker
- Sterile saline tubes/sachets
- Disposable resuscitation face shield
- Antiseptic skin swabs
- Stop itch cream
- Burn gel (Burnaid)
- First aid manual
Keep your first aid kit accessible
Store your first aid kit in a cool dry place and ensure everyone in the family knows where it is. Some items in the emergency kit may have expiration dates, so make sure you're checking these items and replace them when necessary.
Modifying your first aid kit for different situations
After assembling a basic first aid kit, you can modify it accordingly for different situations.
First Aid kit for home
It’s important to add additional items according to the number of people in your home and their age. If you have a baby or children, consider adding a digital thermometer, pain relief medications (such as paracetamol or ibuprofen) and plastic syringes to ensure accurate dosing.
If you have a medical condition, it’s important to have important medicines and equipment that you would normally use to manage the condition.
Emergency Kit for your car, caravan, and campingAlong with the basics, you could also add a highly reflective (day/night) safety triangle and vest as you may be near a road and traffic. Remember to have up-to-date emergency kits for all cars in the family.
When you go camping, it’s important to be prepared. Add heavy crepe bandages, instant cold packs, a disposable poncho, plastic bags, whistle, torch, and glow stick. If you’re in snake territory, don’t forget to add snake bite bandages.
First aid supplies for boating or sporting
Injuries can occur both on and off the water, so it’s important to be prepared. Add a disposable poncho, plastic bags, whistle. glow stick and torch. If you are boating in waters where marine stingers are present, include vinegar to use on potential stings.
Consider how easy sporting injuries can occur. Add an instant icepack, aluminium splint, rigid sports tapes, and other hospital grade items. Check out our Aero Regulator Sports First Aid Kit.
First aid kit for your workplace
Nobody anticipates an emergency in the workplace, however, unfortunately, accidents and emergencies sometimes happen. An organised and properly stocked first aid kit can supply peace of mind in a medical emergency. Additionally, this simple preparation could help to save a life. To learn more about first aid in the workplace Code of Practice and workplace requirements, visit the Safe Work Australia website.
How to use first aid supplies
It’s important to understand how each item in an emergency kit should be used before you need them. For example:
First aid manual, notepad, and pen
This is a useful resource to have in a family setting, especially if children find themselves caring for a wounded person and need to follow instructions in order to know what they should do.
It's a good idea to include this in your kit as it will remind you to write down symptoms and details of what caused it. This information can be important for doctors or paramedics to know if the situation requires further assistance.
Dressing pads, triangular bandages and crepe bandages
Dressing pads are used to cover and pack bleeding wounds. Non-adherent dressings cover wounds and burns. These oversized cotton bandages can be used as a sling to immobilise injured limbs or as a pad to control bleeding. Light crepe bandages provide light support for sprains and strains. Heavy crepe bandages are used to immobilise joints and provide support.
Disposable gloves, antiseptic solution and sterile saline
When you're dealing with an open wound, the last thing you want to do is risk infection. Having rubber gloves on hand will ensure that you can tend to the problem without risk of contaminating the wound. When dealing with cuts, grazes or open wounds, antiseptic solution can be applied to ensure that the area is not infected down the track.
Saline is used to rinse cuts, grazes, or other injuries where the wound may need cleaning. If a foreign object becomes lodged in the eye, this solution can help to clear it out or, at the very least, soothe the discomfort.
Thermometer, tweezers, and scissors
A great tool to have for measuring and keeping track of fevers. A first aid kit isn't just for serious injuries. Tweezers can help you to easily remove things like splinters from the skin. For cutting bandages, tape, and other materials.
If you are unsure about what the items in your first aid kit are used for, it is recommended to read your first aid manual, ask our staff at Cate’s Chemist, or take a first aid course.
Importance of a first aid course
First Aid training gives you the confidence to step in and help when an emergency occurs. The action you take by responding straight away, could save a life or prevent a person suffering permanent disability. Becoming First aid certified not only benefits you as an individual, but it extends to your family, friends, co-workers and even the community. Accidents and emergency situations are not completely preventable, which is why it is very important to have at least a basic knowledge of first aid.