What are the Different Types of First Aid Items?

T. Raleigh

Most people have had the need for a little first aid at one time or another. There are many different types of first aid items available, and one of the easiest ways to get all of the necessary ones is to get a first aid kit. First aid kits vary in what they include, but a few first aid supplies are common in most kits. Along with first aid information and training, first aid items can also be invaluable.

Surgical gloves should be included in a first aid supply kit.
Surgical gloves should be included in a first aid supply kit.

There are many different options of first aid kits available. While some include only the most basic of first aid items, others can be quite comprehensive. Additionally, specialty first aid kits are also available and usually contain things that might not be included in a general first aid kit.

Antibiotic ointments are typically included in first aid kits.
Antibiotic ointments are typically included in first aid kits.

A camping first aid kit might contain an emergency blanket and insect repellent. A waterproof, or at least water resistant, first aid kit is generally preferred for boating. There are first aid kits for an automobile as well, which often include distress signals and light sticks.

A woman applying an anti-itch cream, which is often included in first aid kits.
A woman applying an anti-itch cream, which is often included in first aid kits.

Some basic treatment for cuts or abrasions is available in the majority of prepackaged first aid kits. Antiseptic, such as iodine or alcohol pads, help to clean cuts. Some kits provide antibiotic ointments, which help to prevent infection. Bandages, gauze, sterile pads, and tape are all useful to help cover and protect the injured area.

Small splints are sometimes included in first aid kits.
Small splints are sometimes included in first aid kits.

An intermediate-sized kit might contain first aid items for sprains or strains. Cloth bandages for wrapping, instant cold packs, and aspirin or non-aspirin pain relievers can all help treat these kinds of injuries. For stabilizing potentially broken bones, wooden splints are sometimes included. Scissors are useful as well for cutting away clothing to access and treat a damaged area. Latex or non-latex gloves, as well as some basic first aid instructions, can be useful to the person treating the injury.

First aid items may include suture supplies, bandages, wraps, and gauze.
First aid items may include suture supplies, bandages, wraps, and gauze.

For splinters or other lodged debris, tweezers and a safety pin can prove quite handy. Often kits will include a thermometer to aid in diagnosis of the problem. Decongestants, antihistamines, burn medication, anti-itch treatment, diarrhea medication, and sunscreen can all be available in some of the larger or specialty first aid kits available.

CPR training should cover the proper use of first aid equipment.
CPR training should cover the proper use of first aid equipment.

There are many first aid courses available. From knowing how to treat minor injuries, to aiding a choking victim or performing CPR, this type of training can be one of the most useful first aid items. Many local organizations offer courses in first aid or CPR, and there are online training programs available as well.

Antihistamines can be included in the first aid kits of people with allergies.
Antihistamines can be included in the first aid kits of people with allergies.
A first aid kit should include safety pins.
A first aid kit should include safety pins.
Cloth bandages for wrapping are included in most first aid kits.
Cloth bandages for wrapping are included in most first aid kits.
American Red Cross recommends first aid kits include gauze bandages.
American Red Cross recommends first aid kits include gauze bandages.
Tweezers are often included in a first aid kit for removing small objects embedded in the body.
Tweezers are often included in a first aid kit for removing small objects embedded in the body.
Aspirin and other types of pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications are often found in first aid kits.
Aspirin and other types of pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications are often found in first aid kits.
A first aid kit may contain instructions for how to assist a person who is choking.
A first aid kit may contain instructions for how to assist a person who is choking.

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