Before you start, choose a container that’s roomy, durable, easy to carry and simple to open. Rachel Jex, nurse and first aid trainer at Dr Keith Nicholl Medical Centre, says plastic boxes for storing art supplies are ideal since they’re lightweight, have handles, and offer a lot of space. Label it and place it in a place that adults can easily access but kids can’t reach. Rachel advises, ‘Always tell any guest to your home where they can find it – you can bet Uncle George will need a plaster while you are out!’ Once you’ve got your box, you need to fill it. Rachel reckons the following supplies should see you through emergencies, big and small:
• 10 plasters of assorted sizes
• Sterile dressings (three small, three medium and one large) for covering bigger cuts and grazes
• Two crepe roller bandages
• Two triangular bandages and six safety pins to protect and support injuries to the arm. A folded triangular bandage can also be used to secure a dressing over an embedded object or an area that is difficult to dress
• One eye patch useful if the eye is irritated by dust or grit
• Gauze swabs to clean dirty wounds – they’re better than cotton wool balls, which can stick
• Round-ended scissors
• Adhesive tape
• Disposable gloves (non-latex), hand sanitiser gel or disinfectant wipes
• Two small plastic bags to dispose of soiled wipes and dressings
• Pain killers to control pain and fever
• Anti-histamine creams for insect bites; oral tablets to ease allergic reactions
• Flamazine cream for burns
• Mebo cream effective for minor burns and grazes
• Savlon or Dettol a disinfectant for cleaning wounds
• Sterile saline (fourx10ml) for irrigating eyes or cleaning wounds
• Notepad and pencil to keep a note of medication, facts about the incident
• One guidance card and contents list
Of course, a first aid kit is useless if you don’t know what to do with all the bits you’ve painstakingly assembled. First aid training is a key part of your kit, and you, or anyone who regularly looks after your kids, should know how to give safe, effective and prompt treatment. Take advantage of one of the many first aid courses across Dubai.
• Keep one first aid kit in your home and one in each car. Make sure to keep a fire extinguisher in your car – if you’re involved in an
accident and the traffic comes to a halt, firefighters, or any of the emergency services for that matter, may struggle to get to you. Also be sure to take a first aid kit on holiday.
• Restock your kit after you have used something. Make sure you have important medications such as panadol and anti-histamine (you can be sure you’ll need it in the middle of the night when the shops are shut) and check they are within the expiry date. Remember, shelf life on medication in Dubai can vary.
• Once you have completed a course of medication do not keep the excess. Once opened, many medications, such as eye ointments, will quickly expire.
• Dispose of medication correctly. Do not discard them in your rubbish bin or flush them down toilets and sinks. Most pharmacies are happy to dispose of medication for you.
Rachel Jex is a St John Ambulance certified first aid instructor and runs the Family First first aid courses, which you can book via 050 953 5075; firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting the Keith Nicholl Medical Centre on 04 394 1000; www.keithnicholl.com.