If a family member has a medical problem that requires urgent care or emergency medical attention, it’s best to go to a local hospital or to call 911. However, many minor health issues can be addressed at home with a first aid kit. It’s always a good idea to keep a fully stocked medical kit at home, especially if your family has young children.
Preparing Your Kit
You may have seen commercial first aid kits in a drugstore or supermarket. You could purchase a commercial kit; however, it’s typically more cost-effective to create your own. Purchase a plastic bin about the size of a shoebox. A healthcare worker at your local hospital may recommend using a clear plastic bin, which allows you to quickly identify when it’s time to restock your first aid supplies. With a permanent marker, write “First Aid” in large letters on the bin. Tape an index card to the bin, on which you should write “911,” followed by the local Poison Control number, followed by the cellphone numbers for the heads of the household.
Assembling First Aid Supplies
Go shopping for some basic first aid supplies. Purchase a box of Band-Aids, sterile gauze pads, and medical tape. Look for a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone cream, and tweezers. You should also obtain an elastic bandage to use as a compression wrap and you may wish to include some over-the-counter medications in your kit. Remember that all medications should be kept out of reach of young children. Other items that may be helpful include an instant cold compress, oral thermometer, and absorbent compress dressings, along with a small flashlight and extra batteries in case of power outages. After you’ve assembled your home medical kit, make sure that each family member and your children’s caregivers, if applicable, knows where to find the kit.
Regional Medical Center of San Jose provides 24/7 emergency care to families throughout the San Jose area. Our specialists are highly trained in areas such as robotic surgery, stroke care, breast care, and heart health. If you have a medical emergency in the San Jose area, please call 911 immediately; otherwise, you can contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 762-8881.