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10 Items to Include in a First Aid Kit

Close up of woman hands checking collection of supplies and equipment for medical treatment stock photo

A first aid kit is always something that is a good idea to have on hand. They’re a great tool to help you handle all the little bumps, bruises, cuts, and scrapes that happen in life. Having the basics you need on hand to keep a small wound sterile while it heals can be a key way to help seniors avoid infections that can later potentially become more serious.

Caring for your small bumps and bruises properly starts with having a first aid kit to give you the tools that you need to take care of yourself properly. While you can't prepare for everything that could happen, you can do some basic things in advance to prepare for scenarios you’re likely to face throughout your time while you age gracefully in Michigan City.

The following are 10 basic items seniors should always keep in their first aid kit:

A Variety of Bandages:

Having a variety of bandages in different sizes is essential for handling scrapes, scratches, or cuts of various sizes. Bandages help provide a sterile dressing and cover for the wound so it can heal without becoming dirty or infected. Change the bandage regularly (ideally daily) to keep the area around the wound clean and dry at all times.

Rolls of Gauze:

Gauze can help pad an especially painful scrape, scratch, or cut. It's also great for holding a dressing in place if a Band-Aid doesn't stay in the area where you were cut. Gauze also helps protect your skin when you have a deeper wound but not deep enough of one that you need to get stitches.

Ace Bandages:

Having a couple of ace bandages is a great idea in case you were to get a sprain or strain from a fall or accident. If you don't know what is wrong, wrapping your injury in an ace bandage until you can see a doctor can provide some basic support to help prevent further injury.

Medical Tape:

Medical tape can help hold bandages and other wound coverings in place to ensure they can heal as quickly as possible. It’s better than using other types of tape as they’re specifically made to adhere to your skin. Also, medical tape is less likely to cause skin irritation.

Alcohol Wipes/Rubbing Alcohol:

Either alcohol wipes or rubbing alcohol helps clean the wound and keep it clean. Using rubbing alcohol can sting a bit but keeping the area around a scrape, scratch, or cut can prevent infection from setting in. Make sure the skin is dry before you put a bandage on.

Antibiotic Cream:

Applying antibiotic cream before you apply a bandage helps keep the wound from becoming infected. Avoiding infection gets you feeling your best as soon as possible and will help minimize the scarring from any wounds you may have.

Instant Ice Packs:

Instant ice packs are the type that you crack and turn cold immediately. You don't need to keep them in the freezer. They are single-use, but they cost about $1.50 each. It's good to have a few in your first aid kit if you don't have a regular ice pack around. Ice packs can help make bumps, bruises, and swelling feels better. Be sure to only use the ice pack for 10-15 minutes at a time and wrap your ice pack in a towel to avoid the risk of frostbite or skin damage.

Thermometer:

Having a thermometer is important in case you catch a bug or have a temperature. Knowing  your temperature can help you determine if you should call your doctor or seek further medical assistance if needed. 

Blood Pressure Cuff:

Taking your blood pressure regularly (once a week or a couple of times a month) helps you keep an eye on a very key factor and an important indicator of health problems as you age in place in Michigan City. 

Paper Masks: 

It's good to have a few extra disposable, paper masks on hand as we conquer COVID-19. Many places will not let you enter without a face covering or a mask. If you forget your mask or have to go somewhere very important at the last minute, having a face covering on hand can save you the headache of scrambling to find something suitable to wear. They’re fairly inexpensive and very convenient when you need them most.

A First Aid Kit Doesn't Substitute for Medical Care

Remember, having first aid basics accessible can be convenient in the short term. However, basic first aid at home should never replace medical advice and checkups at your doctor's office. If you feel that something is wrong, seek medical attention immediately to get the care you need and deserve in Michigan City.

For more information about caregiver assistance in Michigan City, La Porte, Valparaiso, and the surrounding areas, and how to care for yourself or a senior loved one as they age in place, please feel free to contact us.