Stock up your first aid kit

Stocking up your first aid kit to deal with contingencies

Who hasn’t felt unequipped when faced with an incident affecting one’s health or that of a loved one? A simple cut, scrape or insect bite can turn into a mini drama if you don’t know how to react or if you don’t have the necessary first aid products.

Despite all the precautions you may take, you will all be faced with some bad luck at one time or another. It’s better to be prepared to take action by putting together or purchasing a first aid kit.

The list of items we are suggesting below, was developed from a broad base perspective. You can adapt it according to context of use. It should be noted that it is also possible to purchase a pre-assembled first aid kit.

Examples of items to be included in your first aid kit
Hand sanitizer Disposable antiseptic wipes Medicated ointment for insect bite relief
Unscented gentle soap Bottled water Insect repellent
Sterilized saline water Rehydration solution packets Sunscreen with an SPF ≥ 30
Antibiotic cream or ointment Condoms After-sun gel or lotion
Adhesive bandages (different shapes and sizes) Small magnifying glass Pain and fever medication
Butterfly stitches (adhesive strips) Flashlight Anti-inflammatory medication
Elastic bandage Thermometer Medication for nausea, vomiting and motion sickness
Sterile gauze Scissors Medication for diarrhea
Medical adhesive tape Tweezers Allergy medication
Alcohol swabs Disposable sterile gloves Lubricating eye drops

It is important to include any medication in a first aid kit that may be necessary for a specific person depending on his/her health, for example:

  • a rescue inhaler, for someone who is asthmatic;
  • a nitroglycerin spray, for someone with heart problems;
  • an epinephrine auto-injector, for someone who suffers from a severe allergy ;
  • blood glucose tablets, for someone who is diabetic and who injects him/herself with insulin;
  • an anti-anxiety medication, for someone who suffers from panic attacks;

Storing a first aid kit

The place where you keep your first aid kit should be easily accessible and known by everyone. It can sometimes be beneficial to have several first aid kits so you always have one at hand where small incidents are most likely to happen: at home, at the country house, camping, at the office, etc.

It is generally not recommended to keep your first aid kit in your car or any other vehicle because it is likely to be exposed to significant temperature variations and humidity which can compromise the effectiveness of certain products, such as medications.

Keep an eye on the kit’s contents

For optimal use, you should have a good idea of the contents of your first aid kit. Make sure you know when and how to use each item it contains. It may be useful for you to make a list and summarize the user instructions. Your pharmacist can help you write up this list.

In fact, you should review the contents of your first aid kit periodically, ideally, at least once a year (or at the beginning of each season), to ensure that you have everything you need and that the products have not expired or been damaged. This exercise will also help refresh your memory. Talk to your loved ones about the fact that there is a first aid kit and where it is stored, and explain its contents to them and how to use them.

What not to forget

Here is some important advice:

  • Return any medication that has expired or that has an altered appearance or smell back to the pharmacy for safe disposal.
  • The first aid kit usually helps deal with minor incidents. In case of more serious problems, such as choking, loss of consciousness, a serious burn or severe allergic reaction, you should always contact emergency services immediately. Also, having first aid training will help you react more efficiently under the circumstances.
  • Make sure you have all the important emergency numbers on hand, such as the one for your medical clinic, pharmacist, and a poison control centre. Remember the two most important ones: 9-1-1 for all emergency situations and 8-1-1 to contact the Info-Santé healthline.

Don’t hesitate to speak to your pharmacist for information about first aid. 

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Stock up your first aid kit

Stocking up your first aid kit to deal with contingencies. Who hasn’t felt unequipped when faced with an incident affecting one’s health or that of a loved one? A simple cut, scrape or insect bite can turn into a mini drama if you don’t know how to react or if you don’t have the necessary first aid products.
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