First aid kits must be checked often to ensure that the contents are in a usable condition, not expired, well-stocked, and organized. This is because they contain essential items that are used when an accident occurs. Therefore this kit must be kept in good condition at all times. This article takes a look at how often the content in the first aid kits must be checked and changed.
How often should first aid kits be checked
If you have a first aid kit, you must understand that items in the kit can be damaged by air exposure, moisture, and frequent use. Most first aid kit items’ expiration dates are 3-5 years after production. This is why the kit itself must be inspected at least 5 times in a year.
Check for cracks if made with plastic or for rust if made with metal. Also, ensure that the latches and hinges are still in good working condition. If the first aid kit is damaged, it should immediately be replaced.
Some items in the first aid kit that should be checked regularly include the following:
Dressings and Bandages
As long as they are sealed and undamaged, sterile bandages and dressings do not generally expire. If opened or damaged, a sterile item should be thrown out as it is no longer treated as sterile. The non-sterile ones should regularly be checked for signs of discoloration, damage, or mildew. If you are not certain about the condition of a particular item in the first aid kit, it should be replaced just so that it can still be used when needed.
Ensure to check for signs of discoloration or condensation when inspecting a gauze roll. If the seal of the gauze roll is damaged, it could still be used if it is still dry and clean, but it will not be treated as a sterile item anymore.
Plasters can lose their adhesive ability over time and might also not be considered sterile after some time.
They can also expire and are no longer considered sterile or effective once they pass their expiry dates. They can also dry out.
Finally, always ensure to check for expiry dates as this is essential. Some of the information needed to be understood on first aid kits contents include:
Product code: This is the product’s unique number.
Revision Date: This is the information that tells the month and year that the product was last updated.
LOT Number: Items are produced in batches. This number tells the batch the particular item you have belongs to and allows you to know if your item is amongst a recall list in case there is any.
Expiry Date: This shows the month and year that the item will expire, and they must be replaced immediately after expiration to ensure they can be used when needed.
If an item does not have an expiry date and it is sterile, it should be checked with the manufacturer to know for how long it can be kept. The items in the first aid kit should always be checked every couple of months.