First Aid Kits

First aid kits are the silent emergency response. A properly equipped kit will allow you to respond to the skinned knee or the major wound. It helps you become the hero for taking the "hurt" away or lifesaver for stopping the bleeding. There are dozens of kits available from the very basic to the professional. You can purchase them in most any big box store, drug stores, the Internet or build your own. The contents of these commercial kits vary as much as the types available. And, building your own can save you money. With this in mind, one thing to consider is where will this kit be stored and who is most likely to need what it contains. Home kits: Are there children and what are their ages? Do any residents suffer from food or other allergies? Auto: Remember, one use may be the result of an auto accident so injuries would probably be severe. Boats/RVs: How quickly can 911 reach you? What kind of injuries should you be prepared for; burns, punctures (fishhooks), pinches, etc. Hiking/Camping: Sprains and strains, sore muscles, breaks, snake/insect bites and exposure to poison vegetation. The list can go on forever but you get the gist of how to approach assembling a specific first aid kit.

What should a kit contain? Below is a list of suggested items but, add items as you deem necessary.

  • Basic Kit
    • Adhesive tape
    • Antibiotic ointment
    • Antiseptic solution or towelettes
    • Bandages, including a roll of elastic wrap (Ace, Coban, others) and band-aids in assorted sizes
    • Instant cold packs
    • Cotton balls and cotton swabs
    • Disposable latex or synthetic gloves, at least two pair
    • Duct tape
    • Gauze pads and roller gauze in assorted sizes
    • First-aid manual
    • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
    • Plastic bags for the disposal of contaminated materials
    • Safety pins in assorted sizes
    • Scissors (blunt point) and tweezers
    • Soap or instant hand sanitizer
    • Sterile eyewash, such as a saline solution
    • Thermometer, oral and rectal (children)
    • Triangular bandage
    • Turkey baster or other bulb suction device for flushing out wounds

  • Medications
    • Activated charcoal (use only if instructed by your poison control center)
    • Aloe vera gel
    • Anti-diarrhea medication
    • Over-the-counter oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others)
    • Aspirin and nonaspirin pain relievers (never give aspirin to children)
    • Calamine lotion
    • Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream
    • Personal medications that don't need refrigeration
    • If prescribed by your doctor, drugs to treat an allergic attack, such as an auto-injector of epinephrine (EpiPen, Twinject, others)
    • Syringe, medicine cup or spoon

  • Emergency items
    • Emergency phone numbers, including contact information for your family doctor and pediatrician, local emergency services, emergency road service providers and the regional poison control center
    • Medical consent forms for each family member
    • Medical history forms for each family member (VIAL Program forms)
    • Small, waterproof flashlight and extra batteries
    • Candles and matches
    • Sunscreen
    • Emergency space blanket
    • First-aid instruction manual

This covers a basic kit which should serve as a starting point. Again, depending upon where/when a specific kit would/should be used needs to dictate what a kit contains and in what quantities. A kit used when hiking in the woods should be different than one used in the home. One last important item. Explain to children, at an appropriate age and maturity level, where your kit is located and how it is to be used. Please contact the Department with questions or guidance and sign up for the CPR and First Aid Training we will soon offer plus join the VIAL program.

3301 Highway 357 • Inman, SC 29349 • 864-848-4107 • Fax: 864-848-4132
© 2012 Holly Springs Volunteer Fire Department