10 essential items for your first aid cabinet
From cuts and headaches to the common cold – it’s important to be prepared in case of injury and illness. Having a well-stocked first aid cabinet at home can make a big difference. With thousands of products available, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help, here is a list of must-have products and why you should get them.
1. Bandages and bandaids
Every first aid cabinet should have plenty of bandages and bandaids at the ready. Cuts are common and happen all the time. So it’s a good idea to stock up on bandaids of different sizes and at least two roller bandages and some wound dressings. You may also want to invest in an antiseptic wound spray for quick disinfection after a cut.
2. Pain-relief medication
The second item that shouldn’t be missing from your first aid cabinet are over-the-counter pain medications like paracetamol and ibuprofen. It’s best to stock one of each because they’re used for different types of illness. While both are useful to relieve headaches, fevers or other pains, ibuprofen is also an anti-inflammatory.
3. A thermometer
Fevers are common symptoms of colds and the flu. A thermometer is a good investment to make sure you can quickly check when you or your family get a high temperature. Standard digital thermometers are widely available and shouldn’t be missing from your first aid cabinet, especially if you have children.
Overindulged a little during dinner? Antacids can bring quick relief. They’re available over the counter and are a useful addition to your first aid cabinet.
5. Cough medicine
Although most coughs tend to go away by themselves after a week or two, they’re often annoying and disruptive. When coughs also keep you from sleeping, it’s time to take some cough syrup. You could also stock up on cough drops and lozenges to treat a sore throat.
6. Allergy medication
If your nose is itching, you’re sneezing, or suddenly develop a rash or watery eyes, you may be having an allergic reaction. Antihistamines like loratadine and cetirizine can offer quick relief. If you suffer from seasonal allergies like hay fever, make sure you have antihistamines on hand. They’re available as tablets, nose sprays and eye drops.
No first aid kit should go without tweezers. You never know when you may get a splinter or find yourself having to remove a tick. Tweezers are still the best tool to remedy both.
8. Petroleum jelly
Petroleum jelly is cheap and a great all-rounder. You can use it to treat dry or chapped skin and nails, as well as rashes and scars. It also makes for a nice makeup remover when you’ve run out of your daily cleanser.
Sunscreen is a must-have in your first aid kit. It protects against skin cancer and burns. It’s best to choose a slightly higher factor-like SPF 30 or 50. If you have children, you can also buy water-resistant sunscreen to make sure they’re protected.
10. Heat and ice sprays or packs
These are useful for muscle sprains and aches but can also be a soothing way to relieve headaches. Heat and ice sprays are also available as plasters or creams.
Staying safe is important. That’s why we recommend you put up a list of emergency contacts on the inside of your first aid cabinet. You could also provide some quick instructions for your family so they know who to call when an accident happens.