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Falls, bee stings, burns and allergic reactions are all common accidents that can happen at anytime in the home. Don’t be caught short when disaster strikes, instead be ready to deal with whatever comes up by having a first aid kit handy.

Putting a kit together isn’t hard and doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to have a pre-made kit, it is more of a case of collecting the basics and putting them in a safe, marked container, such as a plastic tub, tool kit or tote bag. Make sure this is sealed and placed somewhere, dry safe and out of the reach of young children.

Items to add to you kit include:

anti-bacterial gel and wipes
alcohol-free cleansing wipes
antiseptic cream
bandages (sterile)
clean scissors and tweezers
disposable sterile gloves
distilled water for cleaning wounds
eye wash, bath and drops
plasters (various sizes and shapes)
safety pins
small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings and a couple of sterile eye dressings
tape and safety pins
thermometer (preferably digital)

As well as the basic first aid materials, it is also a good idea to add medicines to your supplies so you can deal with minor illness. Whether it’s colds and coughs or tummy bugs and temperatures, being prepared is always a good idea:

Anti- diarrhoea tablets and rehydration salts are useful to have at home and are unable to go to the shops.

Anti-travel sickness tablets and bands are a good idea if you, or one of your family, suffer from travel sickness.

Antihistamine cream and tablets for allergic reactions and bites.

Antiseptic cream for cuts, grazes and minor burns.

Keep cold and flu powders and tablets to hand so you can get to work on bugs when they start, but follow the dosage at all times.

Cough medicines can be a real help, especially at night.

Ibuprofen can be used for pain relief and to reduce a fever. There are adult and child versions so ensure you stock what you and your family need.

Paracetamol is good for mild to moderate pain and again, you can be infant versions as required.

Vapour rub is great for treating colds and sore chests. As well as rubbing into the chest and back, people put it on the soles of their feet and wear socks as they say this helps with coughs too.

Remember to be prepared if you have ongoing medical conditions such as migraines, asthma or eczema and ensure those medicines are kept in a safe place.

Keep your medicines in their original, labeled packaging with the information leaflets and check the use-by dates on a regular basis.

With all medicines, whether they are over the counter, or prescribed by a doctor, it is important to always read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.

If you have any questions, ask your GP or pharmacist for advice.