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The Importance of Having a First Aid Kit

Have you ever tried to buy a first aid kit? If you have, you know how many options there are. You can buy basic first aid kits are available from a variety of medical companies. Emergency first aid kits that are meant for natural disasters or even specialty first aid kits that serve a variety of needs. What kind of kit is right for you?  The type of disasters your household is susceptible to (rattlesnake bites in the desert or flooding by a river are two that come to mind), and how well-prepared you want to be in the face of an emergency will determine the type of first aid kit needed.
The most common type of first aid kit is the general kind that you can buy from your local pharmacy. These kits typically include sterile gauze pads, dressings, roller gauze bandages, adhesive tape, non-latex gloves (just in case of latex allergies), hand wipes, hand sanitizers, a ready-to-use ice pack, tweezers, scissors, and a face shield. All of these items could undoubtedly come in handy during an emergency, but what happens if you face something that is a bit less common?
When that is the case, you have a few options. You can either buy a variety of first aid kits that could help you out of nearly any situation, or you could simply make your own safety kit. The latter option is often cheaper and more practical because you can design it to meet your household’s needs.
A homemade first aid kit should include all of the items you would see in a basic first aid kit, and you may want to add any of the following items:
• A small flashlight in case injury occurs during a power outage
• Emergency medications that your family may require (i.e. insulin for a diabetic, nitroglycerin for a person with a heart condition, etc.)
• Topical anesthetic spray for itches or burns
• Oral antihistamines for allergic reactions
• Safety pins to remove splinters
• Plastic bags where you can place any contaminated items
• A triangular bandage or piece of cloth
• Cigarette lighter to sterilize any metal objects
• Antibiotic ointment for cuts and scrapes
• A thermometer in case of fever
• Over the counter medications for common conditions like diarrhea, nausea, and headaches
• A list of emergency phone numbers like your local police department, fire department, or hospital
Whether you choose to buy a first aid kit or make your own, be sure to place it in a common area of the house where everybody knows where to find it. If you make your own, you may want to put your items in a waterproof drop container so that it will be protected from inclement events like floods. Ideally you should keep at least two first aid kits in your home so that they will always be accessible to anybody who may need them.  You may want to keep a first aid kit in your car, too.
Remember, accidents do happen, but that is no reason not to be prepared. And with a complete first aid kit at your disposal, you can ensure that any future accidents will be appropriately attended.

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