21 essentials that belong in every first-aid kit, and why you need them
If you ever made a first-aid box for a school project, then you know all the usual thing that need to be in it: an antiseptic like a Dettol or Savlon, a few strips of adhesive bandage, a painkiller and fever medicine like paracetamol, an antibiotic cream like a neomycin, gauze, cotton, scissors and something to soothe the throat - your favourite flavour of lozenges, perhaps?
The first-aid box can, of course, be as simple or as elaborate as you like. We took stock of what doctors say should be in any first-aid box.
1. An antiseptic
To remove any dirt and debris and prevent infection after a minor injury.
2. Adhesive bandage
Accidents happen. Even if you aren’t someone who bumps into things all the time, or have kids, waterproof Band-aids or Hansaplast can come in quite handy in a variety of situations. Case in point: shoe bite.
The bandage will prevent your clothes (or shoes) from rubbing against your wound and keep it dry at the same time.
Try a printed band-aid, for an instant pick-me-up after a booboo - they aren’t just for kids, you know.
And stock up on square ones and round ones for the places that are hard to cover with big, rectangular tape.
3. Gauze dressing
Yes, they are a bit old-fashioned. But they’re just as versatile as they were in your parents’ time.
4. Crêpe bandages
For sprains and sympathy.
5. Safety pins
Two reasons: safety pins are versatile - they come in handy for wardrobe emergencies, too; and when you break the clasp on your crêpe bandage, you’ll need a safety pin to keep the bandage in place.
Don’t go trying to remove a splinter with that safety pin, now. Use tweezers. And if it looks like the splinter is in too deep, don’t try to remove it yourself, go to a doctor. A good pair can help you get those eyebrows looking on fleek.
This one’s self-explanatory, we think. Just be careful not to cut yourself. And maybe get a babyproof one if you have young children in the house - gauze isn’t that hard to cut.
8. Cotton balls and cutips
Make sure to put them in a clean box within your first-aid box. You won’t be doing anyone any favours by using dirty cotton.
9. A thermometer
Because you can’t always use the back of your hand to tell when you’re running a temperature. If you have babies at home, this one’s a must.
10. Mosquito patch or cream or spray
To keep five things at bay: dengue, malaria, chikungunya, itchy bites and sleepless nights.
11. Antiseptic cream
For cuts and scrapes that don’t need a bandage. Apply, and forget.
Worldwide, headaches and backaches are among the most common reasons why people miss a day of work - keep an appropriate medicine or spray handy.
13. Pain reliever spray, gel or balm
Pain can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. For muscle sprain and back pain, pain reliever spray, gel or balm can ease the discomfort immediately. Yes, you need the spray as well as the painkiller medicine.
To stop the sniffles if you’ve got allergies, as well as for any allergies you haven’t discovered yet.
Be sure to stock up on baby paracetamol if you have kids.
Regular paracetamol is also a mild painkiller.
Indigestion is more common - and uncomfortable - than anyone would like. A sachet of Eno, a Digene tablet or antacid syrup can help if you’re at a pinch. Don’t make a habit of it, though. Antacids can harm the kidneys.
17. Eyewash or artificial tears
In case your eyes feel gritty or dry after a whole day of looking at the computer screen or because of the polluted air.
18. Pad and/or tampons
Just for emergencies, and there are many when it comes to periods. Keep a few pads handy, until you can get to a drugstore.
19. Gel for ulcers and toothache
A toothache can hit at any time, without any warning or provocation.
20. Hot water bottle
Not every pain demands to be dealt with pills. Keep a hot water bottle handy for milder aches.
21. Air-pollution masks
For when the air turns foul again. The simple, inexpensive N-95 or N-99 mask will do. Either will keep most of the particulate matter in the air out of your lungs.
For more information, please visit our section on First-Aid.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Updated Date: Dec 26, 2019 16:25:52 IST
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