Ideally, a family will never need to use their First Aid Kit. However, you’re never too prepared, especially with young kids around. Therefore, you must prioritize your first aid kit! In an emergency, a kit is the first line of defense to treat an injury. First aid kits provide an immediate response to minor cuts and scrapes. However, they also serve as preventative measures for disinfection for serious injuries. Thus, your kit must be up-to-date, ensuring that it is ready to go in the face of an emergency.
Although it sounds ideal to have one bottle of antibiotic ointment for everyone, this is counterproductive. Firstly, resealable items pose a threat to cross-contaminate. During first aid, keep as close to a sterile environment as possible. Even between family members, experts are against sharing first aid supplies. These products include ointment tubes, eyewash, etc. Many single-use solutions safely replace resealable items. Updated first aid kits will include individually wrapped items like antiseptic wipes and one-time-use ointments.
It’s no secret that everything ages. This is also very true for the packaging that comes with most medical items. For example, bandages come encased in a material similar to a wrapper. Say it’s been a couple of years since the last time a family has opened their first aid kit; it’s normal to see that over time the packaging has faded. From the standard white color, the wrapping is now a faded yellow. Although medical supplies become sterilized after packaging, they will become expired. In conclusion, any expired items in a kit need to be disposed of right away.
A first aid kit needs to be as clean and sanitary as possible. The kit must be ready for use at all times. This way, the contents inside stay in healthy condition for use. Do not use a kit that has been rusted or is visibly dirty. Cleaning the container 2-3 times per year will help with upkeep. Also, make sure that hinges are in good condition. This is essential for adequately sealing out any contamination. A clean container will reduce many hazards and ensure that the supplies inside are safe to use.
A family that travels often or uses their kit frequently will notice that first aid items get used quickly. From minor scrapes to a headache here and there first aid kits come in handy. However, most of these supplies aren’t typically replaced right after use. Furthermore, most kit supplies will last 3-5 years after manufacturing but are damaged sooner due to moisture or other exposure. It is essential to review your kit every six months. This way, it is kept up to date, and medical items are always available in case of an emergency.