Be prepared, says the Scout motto and they’ve a good point because it certainly helps to have what you need on-hand when bad health strikes you or your household, or if and when a mishap occurs.
Having some basic over-the-counter (OTC) essentials on stand-by at home is important so that you’re able to tackle any common health problems immediately. Keeping emergency essentials kit in your home and having a mini version of the emergency kit in your car will be very useful when the time calls for it.
Store your kits in an easy to find location that are out of reach of young children. Children who are old enough to comprehend the purpose of the kits should be educated about the items and to be told clearly that these items in the kit are not for playing with. They should also be informed where it is stored in case they need to use it.
See below for the emergency essentials kit list that we recommend you to keep at home:
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic lotion or solution
- Antibiotic cream or ointment
- A variety of bandages in assorted sizes (including a triangular bandage)
- A variety of plasters in assorted sizes
- Cotton wool balls
- Cotton-tipped swabs
- Disposable latex or synthetic gloves (at least 2 pairs)
- Gauze pads in assorted sizes
- Petroleum jelly for chafing, peeling, cracked skin, burns, etc.
- Small plastic bags for use to dispose contaminated materials
- Small pair of scissors and tweezers
- Safety pins in assorted sizes
- Instant hand sanitizers
- Alcohol wipes
- Saline solution
- Bulb suction device for flushing out wounds
- Charcoal pills or anti-diarrhoea medication
- OTC oral antihistamines
- Calamine lotion or cream
- Anti-nausea medication
- Heating or cooling pads for compressing pain, inflammation or fever
- Vicks Vapor Rub – for rubbing on the chest, throat, temples, etc. Useful for relieving headaches, blocked noses, topical cough suppressant and mild pain reliever.
- OTC hydrocortisone cream
- Medicine measurement cup or spoon
- If there is a need to store a prescribed medication in the kit for an allergic attack, such as an auto-injector of epinephrine, store a spare in the kit for emergency situations.
- List of emergency phone numbers should be pasted inside the lid of your kits or have it easily visible. Numbers such as local emergency services and family members, especially your next-of-kin should be listed. Sometimes during an emergency, people may not access to your mobile phone to call someone for you or if you are incapacitated, you’re unable to provide any information. Thus, having these important numbers listed will be very useful in an emergency.
- If anyone has a specific medical condition such as them having an allergic reaction to certain medications or is epileptic, have a concise Medical History form for each family member or for that specific person.
- Small, waterproof flashlight and extra batteries
- Candles and matches
- First aid instruction manual
Keep your kit updated
Ensure that your Emergency Essentials Kit has regular checks and that it is updated at least every 3 months. Discard any expired medications and expired medical supplies. Be sure your torch is in working order and that your spare batteries work.
If you want to be more well equipped in your first aid knowledge, consider taking a first aid course. There are various courses that you can take and you can find more information on these courses with the Red Crescent, ARC Emergency Training Services, St. John’s and International First Aid Training Centre.