Before antibiotic ointment or bandages can be placed on a wound, it is important to first clean the area with alcohol swabs. In some cases, alcohol swabs can be used in conjunction with anesthetic swabs to sterilize medical instruments like tweezers before and after use.
Now you can be prepared when emergencies arise. Stock both your home and car with these first aid kits.
Don’t forget to check expiration dates on kit items and be sure to replace any that are outdated. One helpful tip is to keep a list of contents in the kit to help keep track of missing or expired items.
Keep any prescribed medications, including insulin, asthma inhalers, heart medicine, and allergy medications, stored as directed. Including a list of each family member’s allergies and which medications they take could be a lifesaver.
Just as important as bandages, wraps, and ointments are emergency phone numbers, including those for your doctor, pharmacy, and area poison control center. If your area doesn’t have access to 911, be sure to jot down the numbers for local ambulance, fire department, and police services.
Use an instant cold compress to help soothe and treat burns and other injuries, including insect stings, sprains, and strains.
Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin can all help soothe minor aches and pains. With a doctor’s approval, it’s a good idea to keep at least two aspirin on hand in case of a heart attack. Use these medications only as directed. As for aspirin: Don’t give to children and don’t use to alleviate flu symptoms. Periodically check the expiration dates of all medications.
These larger bandages can also be used to wrap injuries and are especially helpful as slings for broken or dislocated arms and shoulders. Don’t forget safety pins to help keep the bandages in place.
Not all accidents result in cuts or scrapes. Use elastic wraps to stabilize wrist, elbow, ankle, and knee injuries and to keep swelling down.
Scissors with rounded edges protect the victim from further injury. Use these shears to cut tape or gauze or to remove clothing if necessary. The tweezers can be used for detailed work like removing particulate debris, dirt, or splinters. But don’t use tweezers to remove an insect stinger because you could end up squeezing more venom into the skin. Instead, brush the injured area with the edge of a credit card.