Does your first aid kit consist of whatever is in the bathroom cupboard? It shouldn't be left to chance.
That means not only gathering basic appropriate emergency supplies, but also learning the procedures for a few lifesaving techniques.
For example, every man, woman, and child should know how to do the Heimlich maneuver to save a choking victim. It takes about two minutes to learn and can literally be a lifesaver. Any member of your family or anyone at a table next to you in a restaurant could choke and die before help would arrive. Or you could perform the Heimlich maneuver and pop out the food in just a few seconds.
The difference between life and death could be a couple of minutes of learning and preparing for emergency first aid.
Another procedure everyone in your family should know is CPR. If someone in your family sticks a knife in the toaster and is accidentally electrocuted or drowns in your swimming pool, it's too late to begin learning how to save their life.
This video shows the latest method of performing CPR. It's easy to do and may save the life of someone you love.
It's the same with basic first aid skills. If someone is bleeding, do you know how to stop it? Start learning the techniques of direct pressure, elevation, and pressure points now - not when the incident happens.
It's important to have supplies on hand BEFORE the need arises — and don't forget a First Aid Handbook.
If you choose to buy one, here is an excellent variety in all sizes and prices.
To get you started, this list includes common first aid kit supplies that should be in your kit. Add items you may need for your individual family.
Feel free to print the list below:
Standard First Aid Kit
Sterile gauze pads
Band-Aids of various sizes
Triangular Bandage (36"x36"x52")
Sanitary Napkins (Pressure Dressing)
Disposable Diapers (Dressing/Splint/Padding)
Micropore Adhesive, Paper Tape
Small Splints, Possible Sticks
Antiseptics such as soap, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, triple antibiotic ointment, calamine lotion, or hydrocortisone cream, minor burn cream
Antihistamine (such as Benadryl)
Antacid (such as Rolaids or Tums)
Activated charcoal (for poisoning)
Syrup of Ipecac
Baking Soda (1/2 tsp. soda + 1 tsp. salt + 1 qt. water for shock)
Other special medications like prescription drugs
Tools and Other Items
Medicine dropper and spoon
Dust masks/industrial masks or gas masks
Special Individual Needs
Liquid pain reliever
Diaper rash ointment
Baby wipes with glycerin
Compression socks or stocking
Diabetic testing supplies
Contact lens supplies
Review all the items in your first aid kit every six months to make sure everything is in working order and fresh.
We can never learn enough about first aid and in an emergency it's nice to have a manual for instant look up of a particular procedure.
I don't know any better manual than this one by The American Red Cross. Purchase on Amazon for the best price.