Last week I scorched my finger on a scalding hot baking dish, like an idiot. As I held my throbbing digit under cold water for upwards of twenty minutes (as instructed by some incredibly detailed and sort of bossy online forum participant) I got to thinking about the necessity of keeping your first aid kit stocked.
Most of you will have the stray box of band-aids and an old tube of Neosporin laying around, but unless you’re anal retentive, you probably will not have actively cultivated a well-rounded and robust first aid kit. Except this is dumb, because shit happens, and then you kick yourself for not having the lotions and potions you need.
So here’s a helpful list of first-aid kit essentials:
1. Band-aids (in a variety of sizes)
2. Antibiotic ointment (I like Neosporin + pain relief, cause, why wouldn’t you?)
3. Alcohol prep pads/ hydrogen peroxide (to clean the wound)
4. Tweezers (not the ones you use to pluck your eyebrows)
5. Sterile gauze pads (for dressing larger wounds)
6. Roll of adhesive cloth tape (to secure gauze pads)
7. Bandage scissors (to cut gauze to size)
8. Thermometer (digital- duh)
9. Aspirin/ other pain reliever
10. Non- latex gloves
11. Instant cold compress
12. Cotton swabs
13. Hydrocortisone cream (topical steroid used to reduce itchiness and inflammation)
14. Benadryl/ other antihistamine
15. Burn ointment
And if you want to be really thorough:
17. First aid instruction booklet
18. List of emergency contacts
19. List of family member’s medications/ allergies
20. Face mask (to protect you from germs or bodily fluids when performing CPR– for the record, the Red Cross counts this as one of its ten most important first aid kit items)
I really never say this but, you should go out right now, all of you, and buy the things you are missing from this list. Buy each item individually, or opt for a pre-assembled kit. Go, spend your hard-earned money. It’s so important to keep first aid supplies stocked whether you’re young, single, living in an itty bitty apartment, newly married and living in a condo with just your significant other and your dog, or married with 5 kids and living in a Colonial in the suburbs.
If you happen to be the latter, then items 16-20 are definitely necessities. If you fall somewhere among the former well, then, I would understand if you skipped out on the last 5 items. But you are not exempt from the first 15. No, sir.
A note on the “kit” aspect to all this: Make sure you encase all your medical in-case-ed-ness. This means that you should use a bin, basket, shelf, etc to contain and keep together all of your first aid items. That way, in the event of an emergency, you will know exactly where to head for help.
HOPEFULLY YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TO USE ANY OF THESE THINGS EVER AND THEY WILL SIT QUIETLY UNUSED SOMEWHERE. But in the unfortunate circumstance that you do require first aid attention, you will be so grateful and happy to have these things on-hand.