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Ask the Doc: First aid kit and vitamins advice

By Ian Duncan

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First aid kit.
First aid kit.

Dr Laura Ryan, NHS 24 medical director, answers readers’ questions in our weekly column

Q. I’m going to top up my first aid kit – what is best for me to have at home?

A. Having a good first aid kit is a great way to make sure you’re prepared for any accidents at home.

A basic first aid kit may contain a range of items.

These include plasters in a variety of different sizes and shapes, as well as small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings.

You should also have at least two sterile eye dressings, triangular bandages, crêpe rolled bandages, safety pins, disposable sterile gloves, tweezers, scissors, alcohol-free cleansing wipes and sticky tape. The kit should also contain a thermometer (preferably digital), skin rash cream such as hydrocortisone or calendula, a cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings, and antiseptic cream.

You should also pack painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant paracetamol for children), aspirin (not to be given to children under 16) or ibuprofen, cough medicine, antihistamine cream or tablets, distilled water for cleaning wounds, an eye wash and eye bath.

It may also be useful to keep a basic first aid manual or instruction booklet with your first aid kit. Make sure you only use medicines before their use-by dates.

Q. I’m concerned I’m not getting enough vitamin C. What foods should I be eating?

A. Water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C, the B vitamins and folic acid) are mainly found in fruit and vegetables, grains and milk and dairy foods.

These vitamins aren’t stored in the body, so you need to have some every day. Taking more than you need doesn’t help, since your body gets rid of the extra when you urinate.

Vitamin C helps keep cells healthy, maintain healthy connective tissue, and heal wounds. It is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.

You can write to Dr Ryan by sending an email to newsdesk@highlandnews.co.uk with Ask The Doc in the subject line.

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