First Aid Kits Are Vital Tool in Every Home and Vehicle

DAYTON, Ohio (July 14, 2017) – The ability to tap an app for medical questions may provide quick answers to what ails us, but don’t let it fool you into thinking that some tried and true methods – such as a well-stocked first aid kit – aren’t needed anymore.

“First aid kits are an important tool that should be included in every home,” said Joshua Ordway, MD, a family physician with Franklin Family Practice. “It’s the first line of defense against common medical problems that occur in the home that can be resolved or cared for until further medical help is found.”

The contents of a first aid kit can vary according to who will primarily be using it. Things to consider are allergies and medical issues. Someone who has a bleeding disorder or a particular food allergy, for instance, may need access to certain emergency medications that others don’t. 

Common first aid kit contents include medications such as diphenhydramine, which can treat rashes and allergy reactions, and acetaminophen, which can treat pain and inflammation. Helpful tools include tweezers for splinters, bandages of various sizes, and alcohol wipes to sterilize surfaces. Dr. Ordway high recommends petroleum jelly.

“It’s not something that people think of often, but is great for so many uses,” he said. “It can slow bleeding, treat rashes, and is just great to have on hand. I use it more often than antibiotic ointments to treat cuts because you don’t have to worry about whether someone will have an allergic reaction to it.”

Choose a location for the first aid kit that can be accessed quickly, but is out of reach of younger children and child-proofed for safety. Possible locations include under the kitchen sink or in a common hallway cabinet in a home. Dr. Ordway also strongly suggests that a second first aid kit be stored in a home’s garage.

“It’s a location of a home where accidents can easily happen because of do-it-yourself projects and activities such as carpentry and yard work,” said Dr. Ordway, who practices with Premier Physician Network.

First aid kits can be purchased at a store, but may not include all the components that your or your family needs. A personalized first aid kit can be easily constructed. The American Red Cross outlines the following points to follow when creating a first aid kit of your own:

  • Include vital information – A kit isn’t just to store medical supplies and medicine. It’s important to include personal emergency information such as emergency phone numbers. It may also be helpful to include a list of medical issues for each member of the family as well as any maintenance medication they take each day. This makes it accessible if they would ever have to be relayed to emergency personnel.
  • Consider quantity – The amount of each item should reflect the number of individuals living in a home. Base the number of bandages and amount of gauze on the possibility that more than one person at a time may need aid. Also, remember to replace items after they have been used.
  • Check it regularly – It’s a good thing when a first aid kit isn’t needed often, but can accidentally lead to its contents becoming expired. Make a point of marking your calendar every few months to check on the kit’s contents and their expiration dates. Be mindful that this can also include bandages, Dr. Ordway said.
  • Think outside the box – A first aid kit doesn’t have to look the same for each household. It may be an official first aid box from a drug store or a shoe box filled with necessary items. The important thing is that every member of the home knows its contents and where it can be found in an emergency.

Click here for more information on first aid kits or to find a Premier Physician Network physician near you.

Contact Us

Discover more about Premier Health and join us in building healthier communities in Southwest Ohio. Learn more about working at Premier Health, becoming a volunteer, and making a gift to support our mission.