9 First Aid Essentials for the Home

By on February 10, 2013

Home injuries cause as many as twenty million hospital trips in the U.S. each year. Even in super safe homes accidents can still happen. 9 First Aid Essentials for the Home The best thing you can do is be prepared for injuries and illness both big and small. Although ready-made first aid kits are available, it's best to make your own so you can customize it for your family's specific needs. With all the essentials on hand, not only can you take care of minor injuries, but also help stabilize more serious injuries until professional medical help is available. Although each family may need different supplies, these nine top my list and should be included in your home kit too!

  1. Adhesive bandages and sterile dressings - Everyone gets a "boo-boo" from time to time and bandages and dressings are great to have on hand.  Dressings are essential for stopping excessive bleeding and bandages keep dirt and grime out of cuts, allowing them to heal without infection.  It's important to have bandages in a variety of sizes to be prepared for any type of injury. Small bandages in particular are great for tiny hands and knees!
  2. Antibiotic ointment - A properly cleaned wound can still get infected which is why antibiotic ointment is so important. Neosporin is a family favorite and keeps cuts healthy while they heal.
  3. Hydro-cortisone Cream- This cream is a must have if you have children in the house.  It combats all itches from bug bites to poison ivy, and allergic reactions to skin rashes.  Any brand will do just make sure it contains 1 percent hydro-cortisone.
  4. Burn Ointment - Soak minor burns in cool water for five minutes to reduce swelling, next, apply a burn ointment to prevent an infection and wrap a dry gauze bandage loosely around the burn. Still hurting? Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol, Advil, Motrin or Aleve to help with the pain.
  5. Cleansing agent - Keep soap and antibiotic towelettes on hand to keep infections at bay. Cuts and scrapes can go from small to serious if they aren't cleaned properly. Kill germs and bacteria with soap or towlettes and follow with an antibiotic ointment and a bandage.
  6. Eye wash solution - This is an important addition to any home first-aid kit.  Eye wash helps to flush contaminants, dust and pollen that can cause infection and allergic reactions.
  7. Sterile gloves - Have at least two pairs of these in your first aid kit. They protect both the "victim" and the "rescuer" from the transfer of germs and disease.
  8. Nonprescription drugs- Prevent midnight runs to the pharmacy by keeping basic OTC drugs on hand.  Pain relievers like Ibuprofen (fever reducer and anti-inflammatory) and Tylenol are a must! Anti-diarrheal medications like Imodium are super important especially if there are children in the household, who tend to have a high risk of dehydration when they have diarrhea. Stock up on both drowsy and non drowsy allergy medications like Benadryl and Claritin. Antacids are also good to put into the kit, especially if you or someone in your family is prone to stomach upset. Be sure to check your stock of meds periodically to make sure of they are all in date!
  9. Thermometer- A fever can indicate illness or infection, which is why it's so important to keep a working thermometer in the house. Digital ear thermometers are the most accurate but also quite expensive. An oral digital thermometer is the next best choice.

With these nine items in your medicine cabinet, you can rest easy that you and your family are prepared for almost anything! But remember if you are in a real emergency, or don't know how to treat an injury call 911 or your family doctor immediately.

Dana Leigh Smith
Dana Leigh Smith
Contributing Writer at ExcelLiving.com
Dana Leigh Smith is a health-and-wellness professional based in New York. She has written for several health magazines, including "Women's Health," and "Health" and also has experience in community health education. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in health and wellness from Syracuse University and is working towards her Master of Public Health at Hunter College.
Dana Leigh Smith

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