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How to Build a DIY First-Aid Kit for the Home, Office and Road

When it comes to emergencies, it’s best to be prepared. One easy way to ensure you’re ready to respond in times of crisis is to make sure you’ve got a well-stocked first aid kit on hand. It pays to be ready for the foreseeable and unforeseeable, whether you’re in your home, working, on the road or at the cottage.

Here are a few key items for a first-aid kit at each of those locations.

At Home

Many accidents happen in the home, so your home first-aid kit should have all the essentials, starting with emergency contact numbers for family members, reliable friends, the poison control centre and your family doctor. You may have those numbers on your mobile, but it’s good to have a hard copy backup.

Add to that list sterile gauze, bandages, adhesive, band-aids, scissors, tweezers, safety-pins, antiseptic wipes, a flashlight and batteries. You might consider handy prescription and non-prescription medications, like aspirin, antihistamines and anti-nausea pills – and remember to replace them after their expiry dates. A lot of what fills a first-aid kit is common sense, but the key is taking the time to think about those items in advance.

The Canada Safety Council says the most dangerous room in the house is the kitchen, so make sure you keep your first-aid kit (along with a fire extinguisher and a box of baking soda) no more than a few steps from where you do the cooking.

At Work

It’s in everyone’s interest to consider workplace health and safety, and to know where the first-aid kit is in the workspace and what’s in it. Look for all the elements listed above, as well as any items that could help with specific dangers at work. If it’s an industrial environment, that could be eye-wash.

On The Road

Including a few first-aid items along with emergency supplies for the car is a good idea. Aside from a few of the basics from the home kit – such as bandages, wipes, a flashlight and batteries – you may want to consider a seatbelt cutter. A blanket could also be a lifesaver in the Canadian winter.

At The Cottage

If you are out for a long weekend with kids, a few extra items for the first-aid kit could be a big help. Include everything from antibiotic creams, salves for sunburn, and treatments for allergic reactions, insect bites and poison ivy—that’s where rubbing alcohol can be helpful. You might also consider butterfly bandages and splints, especially if the cottage is deep in the woods and it will take time to get to a hospital to treat a broken bone.

And don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the Canadian Red Cross First Aid Manual. It also comes as a handy app.

Your turn: Share your first-aid kit must-haves in the comment section below.

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