Weekly Wellness First Aid

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COLUMBIA - At home. In the car. In the office. These are some examples of places that could benefit from keeping a great first aid kit. We all know we should have one available, but do we actually take the time to make one?

A poll done by Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation in 2012 revealed that 44 percent of U.S. adults don't have first-aid kits and 48 percent lack emergency supplies for use in the event of catastrophes.

Where do we even start? It can be a bit overwhelming. So here's a great list that we found in the July/August 2015 issue of Health magazine:

Hand sanitizer: First aid rule number 1 is "start with clean hands"

Antiseptic wipes: Good for cleaning scrapes

Adhesive bandages: To keep wounds protected

Nonstick 4x4 and 3x3 inch gauze pads, scissors and adhesive tape: For larger wounds

5x9 inch absorbent compress dressings: To provide gentle pressure if bleeding

Triangle bandage: Can be used as a sling or to wrap a head wound

Non-latex gloves: Protection from bodily fluids; non-latex in case someone has a latex allergy

Antibiotic ointment: To treat a cut or sore when there is no access to soap and water for proper cleaning

Hydrocortisone cream: Helps with itchy, swelling skin from a bug bite or skin allergic reaction

Elastic bandage: To wrap a sprain, etc.

Instant cold compress: To reduce inflammation when ice isn't readily available

Ibuprofen: Pain reliever, anti-inflammatory and fever-reducer

Aspirin: One 325 mg tablet can be a lifesaver if someone is showing signs of a heart attack (always call 911)

Sterile eyewash: To flush out sand, dust and other irritants

Tweezers: The best way to remove ticks, splinters and glass

Antihistamine tablets: For any unexpected allergic reactions

Medical ID card: If a person is unconscious, an index card with vital information (like name, emergency contact, blood type, meds and allergies) could help someone to save your life.

Thermometer: Digital oral is the most practical for a first aid kit

Aloe vera gel: For sunburn relief

Moleskin: Stays put for blisters

So, now you're all set. You know exactly what you need to be prepared for a first aid emergency. Yay, you! And if you're someone who already has a first aid kit with all of those items, fantastic! Just make sure you put a reminder on your calendar to check the items every year for anything that has expired or needs to be replaced (if it was used).

Have a safe and happy summer (and year)!