First Aid: Equipping and Training for Safe Use
Whether it’s in the middle of Sunday morning service or during a basketball game in the gym, knowing how to deal with minor medical injuries and illnesses can make a big difference. Is your church ready to respond?
Whenever possible, it is a good idea to have someone on premises who is a trained medical professional*. He or she can do an immediate assessment of any illness or injury and either administer first aid or take action to get additional medical help. If a medical professional is not available, at a minimum, you should have someone on staff who is trained in basic first-aid skills, CPR, and AED use. This person should be the point of contact for all injuries and illnesses and should document all medical-related incidents.
First-aid kits are relatively easy to assemble. Regardless of whether or not you are buying one and adding to it or creating your own, here are some items to consider including in your first-aid kit:
- Durable container
- Sterile gloves (at least two pairs) – Remember some people are allergic to latex, so having non-latex sterile gloves is important
- Sterile compresses, gauze, and dressings
- Cleansing agents (soap, antiseptic wipes and/or hydrogen peroxide, alcohol wipes and/or ethyl alcohol)
- Antibiotic ointment
- Burn ointment
- Hydrocortisone ointment
- Adhesive bandages in several sizes
- Adhesive cloth tape
- Elastic cloth bandage
- Medical tape on a roll
- Instant cold compresses
- Breathing barrier with one-way valve for administering CPR
- Eye wash solution
- Thermometer (oral, non-mercury/non-glass)
- Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Aspirin and non-aspirin pain relievers – Remember some people are allergic to aspirin. Aspirin may be harmful for children.
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First-aid manual
- Emergency phone numbers
Store your first-aid kit out of reach of children, but ensure it is easily accessible for adults. Check your kit regularly to ensure it is well stocked. Inspect all ointments and medications to ensure they are not beyond their expiration dates. Replace flashlight batteries and update first-aid manual and phone numbers.
Immediately after an incident (and treatment), document the incident by including the following information:
- Date, time, location of injury/illness
- Full name and contact information of injured/ill person
- Type of injury/illness and description
- Course of action (basic first aid, transportation to medical facility, etc.)
Circumstances surrounding the injury or illness
Other people involved and witnesses to the incident
- Ready Business online at Ready.gov from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
- American Red Cross online at RedCross.org.
- Notice of Injury Sample Form from BrotherhoodMutual.com.