6. Nitrile Gloves
For the sake of avoiding cross-contamination with yourself and the person who has sustained an injury, get some nitrile gloves. The standard used to be latex, but with increasing cases of allergens towards latex, nitrile has become the new standard. Nitrile gloves also have a good general chemical resistance giving them a wider variety of applications. A quality pair of gloves can also double as an ice pack when a cold compress isn’t readily available.
Emergencies can occur at any time of day and sometimes the power can go out leaving you in the dark. Just a simple flashlight can eliminate this issue and provide you with the necessary lighting you need to address the emergency at hand.
8. Cold Compress
These are ideal for treating swelling from sprains, soothing aching joints, to temporary pain relief. Most of them don’t require pre-chilling to work; you simply squeeze the bag breaking the seal between the two components and it cools almost instantly. And for those of you who remember RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate), the cold compress is an important component.
9. Antibiotic Ointment
Whether it’s Neosporin, Polysporin, or a no-name brand, every first aid kit needs antibiotic ointment. When dealing with minor cuts or scrapes you need to prevent infection. Most ointments will also help to aid in the healing process as well as reduce scarring.
10. Hydrogen Peroxide
Antibiotic ointments are great for preventing infections, but they don’t necessarily help clean wounds. With a small spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide, you can rinse away dirt and damaged cells and loosen dried blood. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a mouth rinse to relieve minor oral irritations.
11. Antiseptic Cleansing Wipes
If somebody has a wound that needs a deep cleaning, putting hydrogen peroxide on it won’t be quite enough. With a cleansing wipe, you can wipe away any dirt or debris that may have gotten into the wound. Properly cleaning a cut/scrape also enables quicker healing.
12. Over-the-Counter Medicines
This covers a wide variety of basic medications you might need for different scenarios. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain relief and anti-inflammation, antihistamines for allergic reactions, and Pepto-Bismol for stomach problems. Make sure to regularly check the expiration dates to avoid having expired medications in your emergency kit.
13. Medical Information Cards
While the information on these cards might appear to be basic stuff, it can be a lifesaver. Write up a quick list of everybody in your household and a brief summary of their medical history. Also, include a list of allergens people may have as well. Not everybody that is going to use your emergency prep kit is going to know the individuals they are treating so it’s good to provide this kind of information.