|The purpose (and thus the contents) of a
first aid kit are generally governed by who
has access to it and thus who will use it.
While most people are not trained to handle
emergencies beyond simple cuts and scrapes,
they do understand that stopping bleeding
and preventing infection of wounds is important
and easy to do. At the other extreme, industrial
first aid kits should contain a wide variety
of tools and supplies for the first responder.
The most important things to
buying a First Aid Kit are:
- Who will have access to it and use it - is
it for family members, the general public,
or trained first responders.
- What it will be used for - treating minor
scrapes and cuts, or intervening in true
emergencies like drowning or cardiac arrest.
First aid kits for the home tend to have
lots of bandages and first aid creme. They
are typically kept under the bathroom sink
or in a linen closet, are usable by older
children and adults, and can come in a plastic
or metal case. Look to spend under $30 for
such a kit. A small plastic version of a
home kit is good for automotive use, too.
You might consider augmenting the home and
auto kits with cleansing antibiotic wipes.
Stay away from liquid-based products that
would not survive the temperature extremes
of a car.
School, Office, and Church Kits
These kits are similar to home kits (containing
mostly basic items like bandages, perhaps
scissors and rolls of gauze) but are larger
and may be mounted on a wall in a public
place. Look for a sturdy wall-mounted kit
that is clearly marked (typically with a
large red cross.)
Plants and factories typically invest in
the training of a medical response team.
These teams are trained at the Advanced First
Aid level or beyond, and can utilize more
items in a first aid kit than the public.
These industrial kits must adhere to OHSA
regulations, and will be well-stocked and
mounted on the wall.