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Whatís in Your First Aid Kit?
Accidents happen in and around the home and workplace on a regular basis. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, disabling injuries occur every 1.6 seconds. If you are reading this at work, you may rest a bit easier since about two thirds of the disabling injuries suffered by American workers do not occur on-the-job. In the home, the leading causes of injury are falls, followed by poising, and choking.

Itís important to be prepared, especially if there are children in the home. With a little planning, you can create a well-stocked home first aid kit. You can either purchase a pre-made first aid kit or assemble one yourself. Then, place all of your supplies in one location so you know exactly where they are when you need them. Customize your first aid supplies to fit your familyís needs. For example, if a household member is allergic to bee stings, make sure to your supplies an epinephrine (adrenaline) kit. Remember to add a list of medications and information about allergies and medication sensitivities for all household members. An often overlooked piece of first aid preparation is information so be sure to include all emergency telephone numbers you want on hand such as poison control, family doctor, and relatives. Be sure to re-stock your kit each time you use it.

Here are some basic items to include in your kit. Visit The Ready American site at for a more comprehensive listing.

  • Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin
  • Cough suppressant, antihistamine, and decongestants
  • Oral medicine syringe for young children taking liquid medications
  • Activated charcoal and Syrup of Ipecac (use only on the advice of a Poison Control Center, physician or emergency department)
  • Bandages of assorted sizes
  • Safety pins
  • Gauze and adhesive tapes
  • Sharp scissors with rounded tips
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Disposable, instant-activating cold packs
  • Tweezers
National Safety Councilís Report on injuries in America

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