According to data from the Spanish Society of Family and Community Pharmacy more than 90% of accidental injuries in homes are almost always minor trauma (contusions, wounds or sprains) or seven out of ten burns occur in the home. Having at home, therefore, a well-stocked first-aid kit to attend to these minor injuries or to make a first cure before going to the doctor is essential.
In addition, it is not a few occasions, it has happened that of going to dip into the medicine cabinet and that we just lack what we need. So, let’s do our homework and Let’s review everything that cannot be missing in our medicine cabinet so that any unforeseen event will catch us prepared:
- Neutral liquid soap to wash the wounds well.
- Disinfectants. Pharmacy alcohol is a good disinfectant, but as it stings, it will be better to use it on healthy skin as a preventive or to disinfect scissors or tweezers (we will deal with these elements of the first aid kit later). Thus, for wounds it is preferable to have an antiseptic solution, which disinfects very well and does not sting.
- Sterile gloves as a preventive measure so as not to come into direct contact with the wound in case of blood. It will be necessary to take into account that they are not made of latex to avoid possible cases of allergy.
- Sterile gauze that can be used to clean a wound as well as to cover it after cleaning.
- Cotton, a roll of tape, bandages and a box of band-aids for small wounds.
- Scissors and tweezers. Scissors are best if they have a rounded tip and, like tweezers, should not be used for anything else. The tweezers will be very useful to extract splinters or something small that has been stuck in the skin. Both must be disinfected each time they are used (before and after). On the other hand, having a magnifying glass in the medicine cabinet can be useful for small wounds.
- Thermometer that you will always have to clean with alcohol before and after use.
- Physiological serum for nasal and eye cleansing.
- For the summer it is advisable to have in the medicine cabinet creams or wipes to soothe the discomfort of insect bites.
- Acetylsalicylic acid, paracetamol or ibuprofen for fever and pain
- Antacids to relieve stomach discomfort
- Antibiotic cream to put on small wounds after healing and burn cream mild.
- And, given the current pandemic situation due to Covid-19, it is convenient to add to the basic first-aid kit surgical masks or FFP2 Y hydroalcoholic solution for hands.
Once we have all the elements of the list, we will need to review, at least a couple of times a year, the contents of the medicine cabinet to remove expired, deteriorated or unused products or medications and dispose of them properly. In addition, we must not forget to take the first aid kit, or an adapted version, on our trips or on vacation.
On the other hand, it is essential to keep the kit out of the reach of children. This must always be taken into account, even if small children no longer live in our home to avoid any possible accident if we have a visit as young children.
And finally, it is better to correct something that most of us do wrong, such as keeping the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. Neither this nor the kitchen are suitable places because there are sudden changes in humidity and temperature. The first aid kit should be in a cool, dry, clean place, protected from light.