There are a wide variety of wound care products you need that are often missing from your first aid kit.

While many homes and offices are equipped with a first-aid kit, most people probably couldn’t tell you what’s in theirs. A proper first-aid kit should have more than a few band-aids, cotton balls and a pair of tweezers. If you truly want to be prepared in all aspects of wound care, knowing which types of products to have on hand and what they’re used for is the only way to be ready in the case of an accident.

Adhesive tape

Sometimes simply covering a wound with a bandage just won’t do the trick. Adhesive tape is important because it can help wound dressings remain securely fit surrounding the injury. Adhesive tape is also essential for helping apply the necessary pressure a covering needs to collect exudation or excess fluid from the wound. Typically having a 10-yard roll that’s 1-inch wide is enough for your first aid kit.

Sterile gauze pads

Sterile gauze pads are a must-have for every first-aid kit due to their incredible absorption capabilities, plus they are chemical free. Generally used for minor scrapes, cuts and burns, sterile gauze pads are good for allowing just enough room for the wound to breathe without leaving too much space for air exposure – which can prompt wound infection. Some great examples of sterile gauze pad products include 3M Medipore Plus Pads or Covidien Telfa Island pads, both available for purchase at Advanced Tissue along with a variety of other wound care products.

Antibiotic ointment packets

Whether it’s a gash caused by shattered glass or a simple paper cut, antibiotic ointment is an ideal addition to your first aid kit. Air exposure is always an issue for fresh scrapes, and applying a thin layer of antibiotic ointment in addition to covering with a dressing will vastly reduce the chances of wound infection occurring.

Compression bandages

In the event of venous ulcers or severe swelling in the legs, compression bandages are essentially your safest bet when it comes to applying enough pressure to help improve blood flow and stimulate wound healing according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Compression bandages are an excellent source of treatment for active ulcers, and typically will need to be left on top of a venous ulcer for several weeks to effectively reduce swelling.

Miscellaneous items

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, which is why keeping a few random household items handy in your first-aid kit can help you out. Everything from small flashlights, scissors, latex or non-latex gloves, a thermometer and first-aid manuals are necessary to make any medical kit official.