First Aid Kit Buyer’s Guide
By Edwin Chin
First aid kits come in different shapes, sizes and prices. They are available as pre-packaged kits designed for specific purposes, such as for the home, pets, auto, camping, boating, golfing, welding, landscaping, trucking, logging, burn care, blood born pathogen, emergency response, industrial, commercial and etc. You can also elect to make your own, although this may work out to be more expensive and time consuming as each item is purchased individually. The important part of any first aid kit is that it suits you and your lifestyle or work place.
First Aid Kit Contents
Before deciding the contents of your first aid kit, list out all activities you commonly participate in. Do you go camping? Do you or any member of your family play contact sports? Are you on the road a lot? Is it for industrial use? How many people doest is the first aid kit for? It is very important that the first aid kit contents match up to your lifestyle or your workplace environment. Once you have a basic idea of where a first aid kit will come in handy, you can start planning the contents of your kit.
Many first aid kits attempt to sell a kit comprised of a box of adhesive bandages and a few tablets. How many different type of injuries will this kit treat? Not very many! Don't be fooled by quantity of components, look for variety of components! The idea is to include components for real life emergencies, not what might let the kit sell for a few dollars less.
Any first aid kit should contain at least something from the following groups: Antiseptics (something to kill germs to prevent infection), Injury treatment (items to deal with injuries such as butterfly closures and cold compresses), Bandages (a variety of bandages to dress and cover a variety of wounds), Instruments (tweezers, barrier gloves), and Medicines.
For example, a basic first aid kits, or starter kits, should consist of the following items:
• A first aid manual
• Sharp scissors
• Splinter Remover
• Safety Pins
• Elastic Gauze (conforming bandages)
• Sterile Gauze
• Adhesive bandages in assorted shapes and sizes• Triangular bandage
• First aid tape
• Antiseptic Ointment
• Calamine Lotion
• Antiseptic Wipes
• Alcohol Wipes
• Cotton tipped applicators
• Aspirin and Ibuprofen Tablets
• Vinyl or latex gloves
• Resuscitation Face Shield
• Anti-Inflammatory Cream
• Sodium Chloride Solution
• Sterile eye pad
• Your prescription medications
What you keep the contents in is up to you. Nowadays, first aid kits come in plastic case, metal case or durable soft-pack. The type you choose is dependant on the purpose of the kit and where it will be stored.