How to fill your first aid kit

YOU never know what emergency you might face in the home and preparedness is vital.

The Self-Medication Manufacturers Association of South Africa highlights the importance of having a first aid kit in the home.

These are the essential basics to include in your first aid kit, according to Medicinenet:

  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antidiarrhoeal
  • Antihistamine
  • Anti-itch lotion or cream
  • Antiseptic ointment, spray or towelettes
  • Bottled water
  • Butterfly bandages and narrow adhesive strips
  • Chemical ice packs
  • Clean towel
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Decongestant and cough medicine
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Eye drops
  • Face mask
  • Fever reducer
  • First aid handbook
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Individually wrapped, sterile gauze pads
  • Latex gloves
  • Pain reliever
  • Roll of absorbent cotton
  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Sterile roller bandages
  • Stomach remedies
  • Syrup of ipecac
  • Thermometer

“When taking medicines, read the label every time. Always remember to check the proper dose of medicine, especially when dosing children. Pay special attention to the usage directions and warnings,” read the Medicinenet site.

“A well-stocked first-aid kit can help you respond effectively to common injuries and emergencies. Keep at least one first-aid kit in your home and one in your car. Store your kits some place easy to get to but out of the reach of young children. Make sure children old enough to understand the purpose of the kits know where they’re stored,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

They suggest these for a first aid kit:

  • Adhesive tape
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Aluminium finger split
  • Antacids
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antidiarrhoea medication
  • Antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine
  • Antiseptic solution and towelettes
  • Auto-injector of epinephrine, if prescribed by your doctor
  • Bandage strips and butterfly bandages in assorted sizes
  • Breathing barrier
  • Calamine lotion
  • Cell phone with solar charger
  • Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs
  • Cough and cold medications
  • Disposable non-latex examination gloves, several pairs
  • Duct tape
  • Elastic wrap bandages
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Emergency space blanket
  • Eye shield or pad
  • Eyewash solution
  • First-aid manual
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Insect repellant
  • Instant cold packs
  • Laxative
  • Medical consent forms for each family member
  • Medical history forms for each family member
  • Non-stick sterile bandages and roller gauze in assorted sizes
  • Pain relievers
  • Personal medications that don’t need refrigeration
  • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Plastic bags, assorted sizes
  • Safety pins in assorted sizes
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Small notepad and waterproof writing instrument
  • Small, waterproof flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
  • Soap or hand sanitiser
  • Sunscreen
  • Syringe, medicine cup or spoon
  • Thermometer
  • Triangular bandage
  • Turkey baster or other bulb suction device for flushing wounds
  • Waterproof matches
  • Whistle

“Check your first-aid kits regularly to be sure the flashlight batteries work and to replace supplies that have expired or been used up,” read the Mayo Clinic site.


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Erin Hanekom

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