Every home should have a First Aid kit, which should always be kept well-stocked with medical supplies. In the event of an accident, it is important that First Aid is administered immediately, so it is important to keep a kit in a place in your house that is easily accessible. Although you can buy a complete first aid kit from your local medical store, (which are available in a variety of different shapes and sizes), some people prefer to compile their own, so that they know exactly what they have. Creating your own kit gives you a higher degree of flexibility as to the contents of the kit and by buying individual medical supplies from a medical store; it is possible to create your own kit for far cheaper than you would pay for a pre-made kit.

You should buy a variety of different sizes and shapes of adhesive waterproof bandage, so that you have one that is an appropriate size and shape for the injury that needs treating. Covering a wound with a bandage that is the wrong size can be counterproductive. Many medical stores sell big boxes of adhesive bandages that include a mixture of different sizes, but if you can’t find these, buy a few smaller packets of different sizes and combine them. Rolls of gauze bandages are also good for treating strains and sprains.

All kits should contain anti-bacterial wipes and ointments. The wipes can provide an effective method for cleaning dirt and grit out of cuts and grazes, and therefore help prevent the possibility of infection. They are more effective than cotton wool because they are less likely to break up and leave residue in the wound, and they are less likely to be covered in bacteria than household clothes. Hand sanitizer is also useful for preventing the spread of germs and bacteria.

Adhesive surgical tape is useful for keeping non-adhesive bandages and dressings in place. It is specially designed to be more adhesive to skin than other types of adhesive tape, and should only produce a small amount of discomfort when it removed. Although most surgical tape rips easily by hand, a small pair of personal scissors could also be a useful addition to your kit, in case anything else needs cutting.

You should include low level pain relief medicine that you are able to buy over the counter at medical stores. Other over the counter medicine such as anti-histamines, anti-diarrhoea tablets, laxatives and antacids should also be considered. Remember than some medicine has a shelf life, so make sure to check your first aid kit regularly, (even if you have been fortunate enough to have not had to use it) to make sure none of the components are out of date. If it helps you, it could be useful to make a list of the expiration dates of all the products and keep it somewhere safe, so that you don’t have to spend time searching around for half-rubbed-off expiration dates, every time you go to check the kit.

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