In some cases, first aid consists of the initial support provided to someone in the middle of a medical emergency. This support might help them survive until professional help arrives.
In other cases, first aid consists of the care provided to someone with a minor injury. For example, first aid is often all that’s needed to treat minor burns, cuts, and insect stings.
In many cases, you can use an adhesive bandage to cover minor cuts, scrapes, or burns. To cover and protect larger wounds, you might need to apply a clean gauze pad.
Over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve pain. Applying burn gel/burn pads or an aloe vera gel or cream can reduce discomfort from minor burns. To help prevent infection, apply an antiseptic cream such as savlon, and loosely cover the burn with clean gauze.
You never know when you might need to provide basic first aid. To prepare for the unpredictable, considering storing a well-stocked first aid kit in your home and car. It’s also a good idea to have a first aid kit available at work. You can buy preassembled first aid kits from many first aid organizations, pharmacies, or outdoor recreation stores. Alternatively, you can create your own first aid kit using products purchased from a pharmacy.
A standard first aid kit should include:
- adhesive bandages of assorted sizes
- roller bandages of assorted sizes
- absorbent compress dressings
- sterile gauze pads
- adhesive cloth tape
- triangular bandages
- antiseptic wipes
- acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- antibiotic ointment
- hydrocortisone cream
- calamine lotion
- nitrile or vinyl gloves
- safety pins
- breathing barrier
- instant cold pack
- first aid manual
It’s also smart to include a list of your healthcare providers, emergency contact numbers, and prescribed medications in your first aid kits.
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Page updated: Jul 25, 2021
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