Hesperian Health Guides

A First Aid Kit

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HealthWiki > A Community Guide to Environmental Health > Appendix A: Safety and Emergencies > A First Aid Kit

Every workplace, health post, and community center should have a first aid kit to provide treatment in emergencies. Make a first aid kit in a container with a tightly fitting cover so water, dust, or chemicals cannot leak into the kit. Make sure everyone in the community or workplace, including new workers, knows where the kit is kept and how to use it.

An open box labelled with medical crosses.

Different communities and workplaces will require different kinds of first aid supplies. Consider the kinds of emergencies that may happen in your area and plan your first aid kit with this in mind. If you work with pesticides or other chemicals, read the labels on their containers to find out which medicines are recommended for poisonings.

What to put in a first aid kit

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Two quarts or liters
of drinking water
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Cups for
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A blanket to
cover an injured
or sick person

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List of chemicals
used in the area
or workplace
and their health
effects. For
pesticides, list
what crops they
are used on
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Salt (to mix with water
to cause vomiting if
someone swallows a

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A pocket mask, piece of cloth, or
thick plastic wrap with a hole cut
in the middle to use when you
do mouth-to-mouth breathing
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Clean bandages, gauze or cloth,
and tape to cover cuts and scrapes
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Medicines that are listed as antidotes for poisoning on the labels of pesticides or other chemicals you may use

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Scissors or a knife for
cutting bandages, tape,
and plastic wrap

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Tweezers to remove
splinters and fragments

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A First Aid manual

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Splints or sticks to keep broken
bones in a fixed position

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One bar of soap

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Antiseptic cream to
disinfect wounds

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Antibiotic eye ointment

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Spare clothes to
change into in case
of contamination or exposure
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Clean cloths for washing skin and
soaking up spilled chemicals

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Two pairs of rubber or plastic gloves

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Coins or a phone card taped
to the lid of the kit to make
an emergency phone call at
a public phone

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A body board, stretcher, or blanket to
carry an injured or sick person