No parent likes to think about this, but thousands of South African children die every year as a result of drowning, burns, poisoning and falls.
This article unpacks the importance of a first aid kit and essential contents, so you’re prepared for situations where urgent treatment for an injury is required – or when professional medical care is either unavailable or unnecessary.
What can go wrong?
Some of the most common incidents that can happen at home include:
1. Burns and scalds
2. Cuts and grazes
3. Ingesting chemicals
6. Insect bites
The critical contents of an emergency medical kit are items to treat burn wounds, cuts and bruises, fractures, as well as splints, band aids, scissors, tweezers, medical gloves for your own safety, lotions for bites and stings, and disinfectant.
What basics should you include?
• Adhesive and duct tape, to hold a dressing or splint in place
• ‘Butterfly’ bandages, to hold the edges of a cut together
• Non-stick sterile bandages, for simple cuts or abrasions
• Sterile gauze, to control bleeding and prevent contamination
• Sterile roller bandages, to support sprained or sore muscles
• Anti-itch lotion, for relief of insect bites, itching and minor skin irritations
• Antibiotic ointment, to prevent infection of minor wounds
• Antiseptic ointment, solution, spray or wipes, for cleansing wounds
• Cotton wool, cotton balls, and cotton buds or swabs
• Disposable non-latex medical gloves (several pairs)
• Eye shield or pad
• Eyewash solution
• Triangular bandage
• Sterile burn gel and burn dressings
• Aluminium finger splint
• Instant cold packs
• Plastic bags, assorted sizes
• Safety pins, assorted sizes
• Scissors and tweezers
• Hand sanitiser
• Bulb suction device for flushing wounds
• Syringe, medicine cup or spoon
• CPR mouthpiece (breathing barrier)
• Aloe Vera gel
• Calamine lotion
• Anti-diarrhea medication
• Pain relievers
• Hydrocortisone cream
• Cough and cold medications
• Small waterproof torch
• Batteries and spares
• Waterproof matches
• Small notepad and pencil
• Emergency space blanket
• Emergency whistle
Useful tips for first aid
Essential First Aid Supplies offers the following handy reminders:
1. Keep your first aid kit well maintained, properly stocked and up-to-date.
2. Keep it locked and in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children.
3. Make sure that the entire family and all caregivers know where the kit is kept and what it contains.
4. Consider including a basic first aid manual or instruction booklet.
5. Resist the temptation to over-stock your kit with random items.
6. Paramedics’ top three must-have items are: a CPR mouthpiece, something to stop bleeding and splint fractures, and medical gloves.
7. Never touch blood or body fluids without wearing medical gloves.
8. Replace any items as soon as possible after you’ve used them.
9. If you haven’t used the kit in a while, choose one day a year to audit it.
10. When faced with an emergency, try to provide the best assistance you can to the injured person, but always ensure your own safety first.
Information supplied by SMASA (Self-Medication Manufacturers Association of South Africa)
Article by : Kempton Express