A first aid box is a metal or plastic container that holds a variety of supplies used to treat cuts, punctures, bee stings, burns and ailments. As the name implies, first aid is treatment designed to deal with a medical situation quickly and simply. Most of the time a bandage or an antiseptic are all that's needed. Sometimes, though, the items in a first aid box are used as a first-line of defense until medical treatment is available.
Open the box and locate the first aid manual. Read through the manual to become familiar with basic techniques for using the various items in the kit. Keep the instructions with the kit at all times for reference.
Locate the items that are used for controlling larger wounds, such as severe cuts or punctures. Look for large absorbent pads made of gauze or other absorbent material. Determine if the box has rolled gauze and rolled bandages that can be used to absorb blood, hold pads in place and apply pressure to wounds.
Determine the sizes of the adhesive bandages. Use adhesive bandages for smaller wounds. Apply these bandages for short-term or longer-term wound care.
Locate the thermometer for measuring body temperature and any medications used to treat illness. Identify pain-relief tablets and other medications that can be used to control diarrhea and allergic reactions.
Check the first aid box for nonlatex gloves, as many people have allergies and potential life-threatening reactions to latex products. Familiarize yourself with tweezers and scissors if they are included in the box.
Although some very good first aid kits are available for purchase, consider assembling your own kit, particularly if members of your family have special medical needs, such as an extreme allergy to bee stings.