Advancements in medicine, the availability of healthcare and ease of access to medical and healthcare professionals online, mean that people often rely on these as their first port of call when in need of medical assistance, however it is important that we are all in control of our own health and safety at home too!
As part of this, it’s essential to keep a first aid kit, that is ready for day to day use to help with most of the common health problems that may rise. It’s handy and empowers people to take an active role in their own well-being.
Here are the most important items that these kits should contain, courtesy of Dr. Maha Osman – Specialist Family Medicine, Medcare.
1- Paracetamol: It is really helpful to keep adult and child strengths at home as it helps with simple headaches, fever, and mild pain that may happen at any time. With its wide range of uses and safety if instructions are followed it can solve a lot of minor problems.
2- Ibuprofen: It is a painkiller and anti-inflammatory and can be used for pain control, added or alternated with the Paracetamol. Just beware some are allergic to it and it can cause stomach upset.
3- Chlorphenamine: It is antihistaminic, for allergic reactions and helps if rash and itchiness started due to a reaction
4- Over the counter decongestant (Pseudoephedrine): Helps with congestion symptoms, used in common colds for better breathing in stuffed nose situations.
5- Moisturiser lotions: Creams that keeps the moisture of the skin help to keep it healthy, looking younger and able to protect us from the outside bacteria – helpful in eczema as well.
6- Burn creams and gels: For minor burns after cold water is first applied, avoiding the use of toothpaste, egg yolk and other house remedies that sometimes make the situation far more worse.
7- Cling film: Burns can be wrapped in these films to avoid the loss of fluid and avoid infection as a first measure while going to the hospital in case of big burns.
8- Disinfectant and alcohol wipes: Essential in cleaning small and simple wounds and keeps it from getting nasty infection.
9- Gauze and bandages: Helps to cover wounds and can be used to compress and stops small bleeds. Keeps the wound clean and no medical kit should be without them. Keep scissors, safety pins and cotton buds at hand too.
10- Band aid: Simple and fast to cover small wounds, comes in different shapes even child friendly with all the iconic characters on them and helps to make the experience of an injury less traumatic for our young ones.
11- Thermometer: A good quality one helps to correctly measure the temperature, use early treatment such as Paracetamol and seek medical advice in a timely manner.
12- Eye wash solutions: In the unfortunate condition of splashes in the eyes, a quick eye wash is of great importance and this is an essential part of the first aid measures to protect the eyes from further harm.
These are the common and the most useful items that anyone can keep in their homes. They’re all easy to use and can make a difference. It is important to remind you all to read the instructions, always be careful when using any medication, make sure that it is used in the correct way, and if in doubt, always ask for help from the professionals.
Finally, wishing you all a safe and healthy life, and always remember that prevention is better than treatment.