Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, you should keep the kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept. Make sure children old enough to understand the purpose of a first aid kit know where it is stored.
Mayo Clinic suggests that the best place to keep your first aid kit is in the kitchen, where most family activities take place; the bathroom has too much humidity, which shortens the shelf life of items. It is also advisable to store your first aid kit in an area that is dry and protected from potential sources of contamination such as dust, dirt and moisture. It is interesting to note that in health care facilities the Joint Commission on Hospitals does not recommend the storage of hygiene product refills “under the sink”. This is considered a soiled environment.
Do you have a dry pantry or available cabinet that is accessible to all family members? Should that space include other emergency or disaster related supplies? This is a good time for children to get involved in family first aid emergency and natural disaster planning.
Here are some of the ways your children can participate:
Ask them to think of items that they would like to include along with their family first aid kit. Suggested items could be: flashlight, extra medicines, water supply, non-spoiling food and even games or books to keep little ones busy and occupied.
Children can help mark the dates on a calendar for checking the first aid kit for outdated supplies and remind you to check the supplies. Remember to rotate or replace additional emergency supplies as food, water, medicine, and batteries as necessary.
Children can also help prepare plans and first aid supplies for family pets.
They can help you find out the phone number of your regional poison control center. This information is available at the American Association of Poison Control Centers Web site. This and the numbers of your local fire department, medical professional and police department are also necessary for a well prepared plan.
But the main point is very clear: store your first aid kit in a place where it will be safe and well-preserved and somewhere that all family members will remember. If it is too inconvenient you may also forget to check it every year or two to replace things that have expired.
Being prepared with a well stocked first aid kit is the first step in developing an even more comprehensive plan for family first aid emergencies and natural disasters. Now that your house is prepared, what about other places where first aid emergencies can take place? Mayo Clinic advises that you should keep at least one first aid kit in your home and one in your car. Does your family have a boat, camper, or summer home?
Careful planning and preparation for all emergency scenarios will give you peace of mind and confidence needed for handling both those everyday first aid emergencies.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only.