First Aid at Home - A Step By Step Guide – Basic first aid skills and preparation are essential. Follow this guide to building a home first aid kit and learn care techniques for minor wounds.

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What is First Aid

First aid is the application of basic medical techniques in an emergency situation. It can range from treating minor wounds and bruises to taking care of more serious conditions before professional assistance can be administered. Knowing basic first aid techniques and maintaining a dedicated kit for first aid at home is critical, especially when there are young children and senior adults around the house. It can help to keep bad situations from worsening and give you the confidence to remain calm in an emergency situation.

 Accidents come without warning.  Knowing handy first aid procedures equip you with the knowledge to keep you and the people around you safe in any circumstances.

First aid kit checklist

First aid kits can contain a wide variety of items according to an individual's needs. The items you stock usually depend on the conditions faced by your family members. But even apart from personalized items, such as daily prescription medication, there are some items that every basic first aid kit needs to have. Here is a handy checklist to ensure you have all the bases covered:

Necessary medications:

  • Antidiarrheal treatment
  • Cold medication (decongestants, cough medicine, throat lozenges)
  • Basic headache medication 
  • Painkillers
  • A fever reducing medication
  • Anti-allergens
  • Prescription medicine
  • Any necessary supplements

Different types of bandages:

  • Wound care plasters
  • Crepe bandage
  • Cotton gauze
  • Compression bandage
  • Fixation tape

Other essentials:

  • Sterile gloves
  • A thermometer
  • Insect repellent
  • Safety pins
  • Small pair of scissors- to cut compresses or other bandages to the right size
  • Tweezers- for removing any splinters or debris from a wound

Refreshing your medicine cabinet

Most mishaps occur within the safety of our own homes. This is why keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet in a safe but easily accessible place is essential. However, you need to take care to regularly take stock of the essentials in your kit. Here are a few tips to consider for keeping your basic first aid kit essentials updated and safely stored.

  1. Check the expiration dates on all packages in your medicine cabinet at least once every six months. To be safe, throw out anything that has expired, as well as antibiotics that have not been entirely used up. Inquire at your local drugstore or pharmacy about proper disposal of expired medications.
  2. Store your medicine cabinet in a cool, dry place. To avoid accidental ingestion, try a location that is locked up and out of children's sight and reach, especially if you have younger children in the house.
  3. In case of children, keep a close check on any medicine you give them. Dosage recommendations change as your kid ages. Always check the label for the correct age specifications, change the medicine if your kid has outgrown it.
  4. Always keep a sheet with important phone numbers in the medicine cabinet, such as the emergency number, contact information for your doctor and pharmacy, and hotlines (e.g., poison hotline, ambulance, emergency room).

Simple wound care routine

First aid covers a variety of procedures that you might require in an emergency situation. The most basic of these is first aid to treat common wounds such as grazes or cuts. Follow this 3 step basic first aid routine for wound care:

  • The first step toward optimal healing is a clean and sterile wound. Run your wound under cool water to remove any dirt, bacteria, or visible particles.
  • The second step is to protect your wound from dirt and bacteria so that it can heal undisturbed. Do this by applying a plaster to cover up the wound.
  • The third step is to assist your wound in healing safely and quickly. Change the wound plaster on a daily basis to ensure that the wound is well protected and heals as quickly as possible.

Always make sure to cover your wound up with a plaster to reduce the risk of infection. Keeping these basic first aid tips in mind is all you need to lead a safe and healthy life. Read here to know more about How to Clean and Protect Wounds for Better Wound Healing