Showing posts with label first aid training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label first aid training. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Be Prepared: Emergency First Aid Kits

By definition, emergencies are rarely planned – they catch us by surprise, and can happen in a moment's notice.  When an emergency occurs, time is a critical consideration. That's why it may not be enough to rely only on your area's 911 emergency systems, no matter how well-funded or organized it is. 

The initial minutes after an injury are often entirely in the hands of those around you, without trained emergency personnel on site.  This is one of the main reasons why having a stocked and ready emergency first aid kit in your home, your car and workplace is a good idea.

Are you ready for an emergency? Do you have first aid kits in your car, home and workplace? Do you know what's in your first aid kits and supplies?  Do you know how to use the supplies that are in your first aid kit?
What Do You Need?

When you are getting ready to assemble a first-aid kit, you have two options:

1.Buy premade emergency first-aid kits.
2.Assemble homemade first aid kits.

If you are not certain what to include in your emergency or disaster first-aid kit, buying a premade kit is probably the best option. This way you can be certain that you at least have the basic supplies you need for the most common emergencies.

Assembling homemade first-aid kits requires you to know what should be in them. So, you might need to do a little homework to find out what you should include. A good understanding of what emergencies you might face and how to handle them will help you decide what supplies you need.  This will help you to be better prepared to use your kit should the need arise. The U.S. government site,, is a good resource to learn about building and maintaining your first aid kit.

A premade kit is a good start for emergency preparedness, but if you purchase a store-bought first-aid you may need to add supplies to it to be fully prepared. Also, whether premade or assembled at home, remember to replace any supplies as soon as they are used. Also, restock items like batteries, from time to time, to make sure that they will work in case of an emergency.

first aid kits and supplies
You can buy premade emergency first-aid kits for the car.
What first aid kit supplies should you have on hand?  There are certain basics that should be in all emergency first aid kits, but there are also other considerations:
basic first-aid kit
Examples of general first aid kit supplies you can use.
  • General first aid kit supplies:  To be prepared for common household or workplace injuries, your first aid kit should include various types of bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, cold packs, latex or synthetic gloves.  Review the  Mayo Clinic's recommendations for a basic first-aid kit, for a list of supplies.
  • Consider your lifestyle:  Beyond the basic first-aid kit supplies, consider the hobbies or other unique activities that may require special supplies. For example, if you or your family members are avid hikers, your basic first-aid kit should include a snake bite kit or poison oak first-aid supplies.
  • Consider your geography: A basic first-aid kit may not include supplies that are of necessary for your location. For example, extreme heat or cold, high altitude environments or an area known for a particular species of animals or insects known for venomous bites or stings.
First Aid Training

It's one thing to own an emergency first aid kit; it's another thing to know how to use the first aid kit's supplies. Some disaster first aid kit's supplies may not need instruction for use, such as Band-Aids. But do you know how to make a tourniquet? Or when you should use one? What about the right way to treat a first-degree burn versus a second-degree or third-degree burn?

Ensure that you and your family members are prepared to perform the act of first aid until trained personnel are on hand:
  • Make sure your first-aid kit includes a first-aid manual.
  • Consider first aid training
How do you find first-aid training?  
  • Check with your local YMCA, YWCA, or American Red Cross chapter for available first aid training classes.
  • Google "first aid training" and the name of your city or community to find training near you.
  • Check with your workplace. Many companies offer free first-aid training classes as part of their disaster preparedness.
In an emergency, training could mean the difference between life and death – for your coworkers, your family members, or even you.

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer