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Episode 506: Sister Act
Maria's Home Emergency Kit
Just in case

Although my sister Maria certainly knows how to make everyday entertaining, she is also a nurse, and therefore she believes in safety first. Here are her great, practical ideas on how to put together a home emergency kit.

First and foremost include some easily accessible, sterilized vinyl gloves in your kit, so that you can put them on before you treat anybody for anything. Dirty hands are a definite no-no.

As we all know, accidents can happen and they are usually unexpected, which is why it is important to be prepared. Let's say you're out in the garden collecting flowers or vegetables in preparation for a party. Perhaps you're cutting something up in the kitchen. What do you do if you cut yourself? You'll need some antibacterial towelettes and some antibiotic ointment to put on the wound after you've cleaned it. Include cotton swabs/balls in labelled jars to help apply the ointment. Tweezers are a good item to include for those nasty, painful splinters.

Wounds can be covered in a variety of ways as bandages come in different sizes, shapes and fabrics. Some bandaids already have adhesive on them and some are made of gauze, which can be secured with silk tape. In your kit, you should provide different options of bandages as well as some scissors to aid in cutting them.

When an injury occurs, such as someone falling and hurting their arm or spraining their ankle, it is important to immobilize the limb. A tensor bandage is perfect for making a sling or a temporary cast.

Nowadays, with heart disease as rampant as it is you should keep some aspirin handy. After you've dialed 911, they might advise you to give the person an aspirin while the ambulance is on its way.

Another common emergency can involve a child ingesting something they shouldn't have. The Poison Control Centre might tell you to make the patient vomit, so keep a bottle of a drug that is used for that purpose. Label the bottle well, and use only on doctors' orders.

Another thing to be aware of is that people don't always think clearly in an emergency situation. Include a note pad in your emergency kit with important numbers such as for Poison Control, Ambulance, Local Hospital, Police and Mom/Dad at work. Add a pen in case the person using the kit has to take notes regarding symptoms, treatment, etc.

Don't forget to label every item in your kit (i.e. "For Cuts"). Make sure you go over the kit with your children so that they are aware of what to do in an emergency situation.

With all this said, the lid goes down on the perfect First Aid kit, something that everyone should have in their home.