South African children die every year, as a result of drowning, burns, poisoning and falls from bunk beds, roofs, roller skates and skateboards

SA’s most common first aid emergencies include accidental injuries like minor cuts and lacerations, foreign objects in fingers and feet, muscle sprains, strains and cramps, burns, chemicals or foreign objects in the eye, poisoning, and asthma attacks.

What can go wrong?

Some of the most common incidents that can happen at home include:

1. Burns and scalds

2. Cuts and grazes

3. Ingesting chemicals

4. Fever

5. Headaches

6. Insect bites

What should you include?

· Adhesive and duct tape, to hold a dressing or splint in place

· ‘Butterfly’ bandages, to hold the edges of a cut together

· Non-stick sterile bandages, for simple cuts or abrasions

· Sterile gauze, to control bleeding and prevent contamination

· Sterile roller bandages, to support sprained or sore muscles

· Anti-itch lotion, for relief of insect bites, itching and minor skin irritations

· Antibiotic ointment, to prevent infection of minor wounds

· Antiseptic ointment, solution, spray or wipes, for cleansing wounds

· Cotton wool, cotton balls, and cotton buds or swabs

· Disposable non-latex medical gloves (several pairs)

· Eye shield or pad

· Eyewash solution

· Triangular bandage

· Sterile burn gel and burn dressings

· Aluminium finger splint

· Instant cold packs

· Plastic bags, assorted sizes

· Safety pins, assorted sizes

· Scissors and tweezers

· Hand sanitiser

· Thermometer

· Bulb suction device for flushing wounds

· Syringe, medicine cup or spoon

· CPR mouthpiece (breathing barrier)


· Aloe Vera gel

· Calamine lotion

· Anti-diarrhoea medication

· Laxatives

· Antacids

· Antihistamines

· Pain relievers

· Hydrocortisone cream

· Cough and cold medications

Nurse Linda Buys shares her three secret weapons: “Colloidal silver spray works wonders on all cuts, burns, eye injuries, eye infections, throat ‘burns’, and tonsillitis. She suggests that a mentholated topical ointment works for earache, a ‘deaf’ feeling in the ear, and to remove earwax or smother any insects in the ear. For burn wounds, my best tip is: the sooner you rinse the area with cold water, the better the outcome.”