What should be in your first-aid kit?

Posted by Danielle de Villiers on

First-aid for home wound care

Scrapes, burns and cuts are examples of mishaps that routinely occur around the house. Every home (and car and office!) should have a well-stocked first-aid kit that can help when you or your family experience the next minor injury.

Follow this guide to building a home wound care first-aid kit and learn wound care techniques for minor wounds.

When should you see a doctor?

When it comes to animal bites (no matter how small), cuts or punctures from a rusty or dirty object (you may need a tetanus shot), cuts deeper than half a centimetre or those that bleed excessively, wounds with jagged or far apart edges that can't be brought together easily and may require stitches or skin glue, wounds on the face that may need special attention for cosmetic reasons, signs of serious infection, such as when the wound is red, warm or painful to touch, draining pus or is surrounded by red streaks, you should see a doctor!

But there are many minor injuries that can be treated at home by following a few rules to prevent infection and ensure complete healing.

Build a home wound care first-aid kit

What should be in my first-aid kit?

There are a few items that all first-aid kits should share, apart from prescription medication that you take regularly. Here we have focused on the essential items you should have on-hand to treat minor cuts, scrapes, insect bites, burns, and skin irritations:

Disposable latex-free gloves

To help prevent the risk of infection.

Clean water

To wash the wound.

Plain gauze pads or rolls

For cleaning a wound and final covering.

Melcura's HoneyGel

For treating all sorts of wounds.

Melcura's HoneyBalm

For treating all sorts of skin irritations and minor wounds.

Melcura's ProcovaPT non-adherent Dressing

Soothing and non-adherent dressing, thus minimizing pain at dressing change. Can be used to put your MELCURA™ HoneyGel onto.

TELFA™

This is a pressed gauze with holes in it to also put your MELCURA™ HoneyGel onto.

Band-aid/Plaster

Adhesive bandage with a gauze pad in the centre.

Cohesive bandages

Can be used to put pressure onto the wound and help stop the bleeding.

Medical tape

Can be used to secure dressings. The tape should be strong enough to hold the gauze in place, but not so sticky as to tear the skin when it is removed.

Scissors

Used to cut bandages or dressings to the right size.

Tweezers

For removing small splinters, foreign objects, and ticks from the skin.

What should you do in these scenarios?

You cut your finger slicing vegetables

  1. Wash your hands and clean the wound with clean water and mild soap. Avoid harsh antiseptics and saltwater as these damage tissue and retard healing.
  2. Put on a disposable glove on the hand that is not cut (if you are treating yourself).
  3. Gently pat the area dry with a clean plain gauze or towel. Do not rub it.

If the cut is small (less than 7 cm in diameter):

  1. Put the MELCURA™ HoneyGel on the wound - as thick as icing on a cake.
  2. Use a band-aid to cover it. Peel off the back of the band-aid and avoid touching the part that goes on the wound. Stick the band-aid on so that the soft middle part is directly over the wound.

If the cut is large (more than 7 cm in diameter):

  1. Cut the ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing according to the size of the wound.
  2. Put the MELCURA™ HoneyGel on the ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing.
  3. Put the ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing with the MELCURA™ HoneyGel side onto the wound.
  4. Cover with plain gauze.
  5. Cut strips of medical tape and stick the gauze down to keep it in place.
  6. If the wound is still bleeding use a criss-cross shape across the wound with a cohesive bandage. This will put pressure onto the wound and help stop the bleeding.

Seek medical help immediately if the cut is very large and deep. You can use a sanitary towel to cover the bleeding wound temporarily.

Your child grazes their knees during a fall

  1. Wash your hands and and put on the disposable gloves.
  2. Clean the wound with clean water, mild soap, and gauze using a light rolling movement to clean. Do not wipe. Avoid harsh antiseptics.
  3. Gently pat the area dry with a clean plain gauze or towel. Do not rub it.
  4. Cut the ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing according to the size of the wound.
  5. Put the MELCURA™ HoneyGel on the ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing.
  6. Put the ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing with the MELCURA™ HoneyGel side onto the wound.
  7. Cover the wound with gauze.
  8. Cut strips of Medical tape and stick the gauze down to keep it in place.
  9. You can wrap it in a cohesive bandage if necessary.
  10. Don't suffocate the wound with a waterproof plaster. This will cause it to sweat and bugs may grow.

Your husband gets a minor burn on his arm from the braai

  1. Wash your hands and and put on the disposable gloves.
  2. Do not clean the wound unless there is ash in it.
  3. Do not pop any blister because the white blood cells in the blister fluid aid healing and prevent scarring.
  4. If you have access to cool water you can run cool water (not too cold) over the burn for 10 minutes. Do not put ice directly onto the wound. It will damage the skin further.
  5. Fold your ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing in half (double) to keep moisture in. The ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing should be the same size as the wound.
  6. Place your ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing straight onto the wound bed
  7. Place MELCURA™ HoneyGel onto the shiny side of the TELFA™.
  8. Place over the PROCOVA Non-adherent Dressing.
  9. Cover with thick gauze and secure using Medical tape.
  10. Secure with a cohesive bandage.
  11. If for any reason you are unsure about the wound condition, please consult a medical practitioner.

Your child gets stung by a bee at the poolside

  1. Get the sting out as quickly as possible.
  2. Use tweezers or your nail. Avoid taking it out by pinching your fingers together. You are likely to squeeze more of the venom out when doing so.
  3. Place MELCURA™ HoneyGel onto the ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing. Cover the area.
  4. Place plain gauze over the ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing and secure in place with Medical tape.
  5. You can give some pain medication if necessary.
  6. An antihistamine is only necessary if there is a lot of redness and swelling.
  7. Remember to be sure about the dose of the medication you give.

Your child (or fur child - our products are pet friendly too) incessantly scratches a skin irritation

  1. Wash your hands and and put on the disposable gloves.
  2. Clean the area with clean water, mild soap, and gauze using a light rolling movement to clean. Do not wipe.
  3. Gently pat the area dry with a clean plain gauze or towel. Do not rub it.
  4. Place the soothing MELCURA™ HoneyBalm onto the irritated area. Cover the area if necessary.
  5. If the skin irritation is large, place ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing over the area.
  6. Place plain gauze over the ProcovaPT Non-adherent Dressing and secure in place with Medical tape.

Added tips:

  1. Do not let the wound dry out and scab. Wounds heal the quickest in a moist and covered environment.
  2. The wound can be left uncovered for brief periods as long as it is kept moist with Melcura HoneyGel or HoneyBalm. The wound should always be covered in situations where exposure to dirt or debris is likely.

Newer Post →