By Bonnie MundayBest Health Magazine, June 23rd 2014
School’s out this week, and family vacations are on the calendar. Canadian families need to be prepared for any medical emergencies. To help prepare, in the summer issue of Best Health we asked a nurse what she keeps in her own first-aid kit. Here’s what Caitlin Mason, a thoracic nurse at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax, typically has on hand.
1. Bandages. Always have a variety of sizes, says Mason.
2. Tweezers. These are a great tool for splinter removal.
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3. Disposable latex gloves. They’ll keep you and the person you’re assisting safe from bodily fluids.
4. Instant ice packs These are convenient temporary relief for swelling or sports injuries.
5. Hand sanitizer. If you don’t have soap and water handy, this offers a quick cleanse until you can properly wash your hands.
6. Saline solution or antiseptic You’ll need this to clean out cuts and scrapes.
7. Aspirin. This helps relieve mild pain and inflammation.
8. Benadryl, or any antihistamine. It will treat some allergic reactions.
Plus. Gauze and adhesive tape to dress wounds (and scissors for cutting the gauze and tape); and a tensor bandage for sprains.
Mason also recommends keeping your first-aid kit stocked with a CPR mask to protect yourself from bodily fluids during mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
You can get these at your local St. John Ambulance and at some drugstores.
We found a couple of natural remedies as options, too: Medical-grade manuka honey is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory; it has been shown in a small study to reduce healing time by 40 days compared to conventional wound treatment.
And arnica cream is really good for bruising and swelling.
Of course, always seek immediate professional medical care in emergencies.
Canberra First aid will soon be stocking great first aid kits so that you are prepared for the Australian summer. These kits will be great for after you attend a first aid course in Canberra and have all the first aid skills. You will be able to perform all treatments in all types of emergency. They are a great christmas present also. Contact us for more details.