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First Aid Kits: What Should Be In Them?

First Aid Kits: What Should Be In Them?

Learn How To Prepare Yourself With A Well-Stocked First Aid Kit 

Emergencies come without warning, and you always want to be prepared for a worst-case scenario. Expecting the unexpected is one of the keys to successful emergency preparedness, and that means having the supplies on hand that you’ll need if you or a loved one gets injured. No emergency supplies are complete without a fully-stocked first aid kit! 

This post serves as your go-to guide for how to assemble a first aid kit to have ready for whatever comes your way. All of the items covered here are in JUDY’s premade first aid kits, but they can also be found at a store near you if you want to build your own.

Why Emergency Preparedness Matters 

The stats on Americans’ levels of emergency preparedness show that the majority of families in the country have no plan of action for when a crisis comes. Despite the fact that natural disasters happen yearly in all 50 states, many Americans simply assume that they will not be the ones who are affected by a catastrophe.

Natural disasters aren’t the only emergencies to prepare for, either. An everyday injury like a cut, bump, or bruise often requires immediate care to prevent it from getting worse. If you don’t have the supplies that you need in your home, you’ll have to race to get care at the emergency room, which can mean a long, painful wait to get the treatment that you or a loved one needs.

Other types of crises can leave you and your family in need of emergency supplies, too. Whether it’s a sudden power outage, a fire, or another form of emergency, you never want to wind up in dire circumstances without the supplies that you need to protect yourself and your family. That’s where JUDY comes in! 

At JUDY, our goal is to help make emergency preparedness the norm for everyone. We want to give you and your family the tools and resources that you need to stay safe if the worst happens. Since over 60 percent of Americans have no plan in place for what to do in an emergency, we want to change the statistics and keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible.

Stock Your First Aid Kit With Everything You Need

If you are assembling your own emergency preparedness kit, your first aid supplies are a category of items that deserve plenty of special attention. The first aid gear that you pack in your emergency kit should be sufficient to help treat run-of-the-mill injuries like cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns, all of which can easily be caused by a variety of emergency situations. You’ll also need supplies that can help you keep your hands clean and sterilize tools and wounds if you don’t have access to soap running water.

Below are some of the most important items to stock in your first aid kit.

Supplies For Sanitizing And Hygiene

Sometimes, a crisis like a natural disaster can leave you without access to soap or clean, running water. In these situations, you’ll need a reliable alternative so that you can keep your hands clean for treating injuries. When soap and water aren’t an option, hand sanitizer and wet wipes can be good secondary methods of keeping your hands clean.

Hand sanitizer and wet wipes are first aid essentials for multiple reasons:

  • Hand sanitizer can be used to kill germs after you use the bathroom if you don’t have access to soap and water. Unclean hands after doing your business can easily spread germs and make you sick, so practicing good hygiene even in an emergency is a must.
  • Wet wipes can be used to clean wounds, sterilize medical shears, and get grime and dirt off of your hands in emergencies. They’re extremely helpful to have packed in your emergency kit alongside your hand sanitizer.
  • In some emergency situations, you may end up in close proximity to strangers. To help prevent the spread of germs, use hand sanitizer frequently if you find yourself near others in the wake of a crisis.
  • Wet wipes can also clean up spills and messes, making them useful for more than just hygiene and first aid!

Another essential component in any survival kit is a set of high-quality face masks for each member of your family. N95-style respirator masks can protect you and others from the spread of viruses and bacteria, which is essential for staying healthy during a crisis. Face masks can also filter out harmful dust and debris, keeping you safe if a natural disaster has made the air unsafe for unprotected breathing.

Another essential item to include in your first aid kit is a durable set of exam gloves. Wearing gloves when dressing wounds helps to keep the process of treating an injury safe and sterile. Caring for an injured person with your bare hands can lead to infection, and it can be dangerous for both the injured individual and the person administering first aid. Always wear gloves when caring for an injured person to protect yourself and them.

It’s also essential to have a means of disposing of any hazardous waste that might be created when treating an injury. JUDY’s emergency preparedness kits include biohazard bags, which are designed to be used to safely get rid of anything that might be unsafe to touch. Dealing with injuries safely and hygienically is one of the most important aspects of navigating a crisis!

Bandages, Gauze, And More

Some of the most important supplies to include in your first aid kit are the most basic. Bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, and any other simple medical supplies that you might need to safely dress a wound are absolutely essential for any first aid kit!

  • Your first aid kit should include antibiotic ointment and cream for burn relief. Antibiotic ointment can be a lifesaver, protecting an injured person from getting an infection. Burn ointment can help to calm and soothe an area that has been affected by high heat.
  • Adhesive bandages can be used to help smaller injuries heal. These bandages can be paired with antibiotic ointment to protect a wound from infection. If you are assembling your own first aid kit, make sure to stock it with high-quality, durable adhesive bandages. Look for adhesive bandages that have the thickness of a lightweight fabric.
  • Gauze can be used to stop an open wound from bleeding, and it’s a must-have piece of first aid supplies to include in your medical kit. You can use medical tape and gauze to apply pressure to a wound, minimizing bleeding and helping the wound begin to heal.
  • Butterfly bandages can be used to stop persistent bleeding by keeping a wound sealed. These bandages are often ideal for when someone has an especially deep cut that is bleeding profusely. 
  • A sharp pair of medical scissors can be used to cut strips of gauze and can also be used to remove used bandages when they need to be replaced. Always keep your medical shears clean by disinfecting them with a wet wipe or and sanitizer!

Non-Prescription Medicines

Being stuck in an emergency without the medicine you need is an ordeal no one should have to find themselves in. To stay as prepared as possible, stock your first aid kit with non-prescription medications for pain relief and allergy relief. 

An over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or Tylenol can be a huge help if someone gets injured in a crisis. These medicines can also be used to relieve pain caused by headaches, lower fevers, and more.

Since allergies are an extremely common affliction that many people suffer from, putting some over-the-counter antihistamines in your emergency kit is also a great idea!

Supplies For Staying Warm And Dry

If someone gets injured and is left exposed to the elements, their condition can quickly get worse. In an emergency, it’s always essential to have the gear you need to stay warm and dry if a crisis like a natural disaster leaves you exposed to wind, rain, and cold. 

One of the best pieces of gear to stock in your emergency kit is a set of lightweight foil blankets. Made from high-tech heat-reflecting material, these blankets are highly portable and can be used to help an injured person stay warm.

In addition to emergency blankets, stock your emergency kit with enough ponchos for every member of your family. Ponchos will protect you and your loved ones from rain and wind and are lightweight and easy to store and carry.

Keep Your First Aid Kit Ready For If A Crisis Comes 

Leave your first aid kit and the rest of your emergency supplies somewhere in your home where it can be accessed easily. If you ever need to evacuate your home and can only take one thing with you, bring your emergency kit! Stock it with first aid supplies, non-perishable food, and everything else you need to survive for up to 72 hours. That way, you’ll be as prepared as possible in a crisis.

Sources:

Q&A for Consumers | Hand Sanitizers and COVID-19 | FDA

A Nurses Guide to First Aid and Disaster Preparedness | Duquesne School of Nursing

NIOSH-Approved N95 Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators | CDC

If you have additional questions, send them our way!

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