We checked with Caitlin Mason, a thoracic nurse at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax, to find out what she keeps on hand.
1. Bandages ‘Always have a variety of sizes,’ says Mason.
2. Tweezers ‘These are a great tool for splinter removal.’
3. Disposable latex gloves ‘They’ll keep you and the person you’re assisting safe from bodily fluids.’
4. Instant ice packs ‘These are convenient temporary relief for swelling or sports injuries.’
5. Hand sanitizer ‘If you don’t have soap and water handy, this offers a quick cleanse until you can properly wash your hands.’
6. Saline solution or antiseptic ‘You’ll need this to clean out cuts and scrapes.’
7. Aspirin ‘This helps relieve mild pain and inflammation.’
8. Benadryl, or any antihistamine ‘It will treat some allergic reactions.’
Plus Gauze and adhesive tape to dress wounds (and scissors for cutting the gauze and tape); and a tensor bandage for sprains.
Mason also recommends keeping your first-aid kit stocked with a CPR mask to protect yourself from bodily fluids during mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. You can get these at your local St. John Ambulance and at some drugstores.