First-Aid Essentials

November 22, 2016
First-Aid Case
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Keep the following first aid supplies in the household to treat unexpected injuries.

Cuts and Abrasions

  • Adhesive bandages (Band-Aids) of various sizes
  • Roll of adhesive tape
  • Sterile dressings (esp. 4”x 4” gauze pads)
  • Roll of 4” gauze (to hold dressings)
  • Pair of blunt-end scissors

Eye Injuries

  • Prepared eyewash and eye cup

Burns (minor)

  • Burn ointment or spray

Skin Problems

  • Hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion (itches & rashes)
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Antifungal powder or spray for athlete’s foot
  • Sunscreen and sunburn spray for relief
  • Insect repellent

Poison (swallowed)

  • Syrup of ipecac (to induce vomiting, after consulting physician or poison-control center)
  • Activated charcoal (to absorb poisons that shouldn’t be regurgitated)
  • Epsom salts (to speed excretion of poison)

Heat Exhaustion

  • Sodium bicarbonate (mix a pinch with ¼ teaspoon salt in quart of water, and drink)

Pain Relief

  • Aspirin or other over-the-counter pain reliever

Miscellaneous

  • Surgical tweezers for removing splinters
  • Cotton balls
  • Elastic bandage for sprains
  • Ice bag to reduce swellings
  • Hot-water bottle and heating pad for aches and pains
  • Aspirin and/or acetaminophen for pain relief and fever reduction
  • Thermometer
  • Sodium bicarbonate for bee, ant, and wasp stings

Source: 

The 2009 Old Farmer's Almanac

Reader Comments

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First Aid Essentials

Have a QuikClot Advanced Clotting Gauze in the glove compartment or side storage on the drivers side. It's small and can be pressed into a wound to stop bleeding. Very simple to use, whether its can large cut or deep puncture wound. And the bandage is folded so you can use what you need on one wound and move on. Pretty much anything reasonably clean can be used as an cover bandage (duct tape, ace bandage etc). For other Common Sense Ideas Consider visiting commonsensehome.com

Antibacterial hand soap

The FDA is recommending against the use of most antibacterial soaps as being ineffective, if not dangerous. There seems to be a growing body of scientific evidence to support this stand.

Antibacterial Hand Soap

Hi Greg, 

After some research, it has become clear that you are correct that the FDA has recommended not using antibacterial soaps in preventing the spread of germs. We have removed antibacterial soap from the list above. Thanks for writing!

Antibacterial Soap

Good to see that the word is getting out. As a healthcare worker, I use antibacterials all the time. I always worried about the stuff available for home use as related to superbugs, and am so glad the FDA has basically set a moratorium on these products. Not only is there the superbug issue, but the chemical ingredient in them is carcinogenic. Basic soap and H2O or hand sanitizers with alcohol are great to have in the kit. Just remember, even though alcohol is more effective, it can not replace soap and H2O if there is visible soiling.