What essential elements need to be included in eye care kits?
The most common issues with eye injuries include foreign bodies in the eye, so having an eye care kit designed to deal with these types of injuries and to safely cover and protect the eye in the case of other injuries is essential. The basic contents of eye care kits will include eye wash, gauze, eye covers, tape, eye pads as well as instant cold packs. The eye wash is going to be used in virtually all types of eye injuries and small bottles, typically 4 ounces, need to be included in the kits. It is recommended to consider two or more smaller bottles that can be disposed of after each use and replaced, rather than one large bottle of saline solution that will remain open after each use. Since once the bottle is opened there is a risk of possible bacteria developing in the cap, plus in warm climates evaporation can occur, simply replacing the smaller bottles is considered to be the best option. Eye pads that are designed to be soft and form to the shape of the eye are important to safely immobilize the eyelid and prevent blinking when there is an object in the eye that cannot be safely flushed out or removed. Eye covers are harder plastic that can be placed over the eye pad and taped into position to prevent further damage or injury. Who should be trained to use eye care kits? Within a workplace, anyone who is likely to have an eye injury or to encounter a co-worker with an eye injury should be trained in how to use the supplies in the eye care kits. Since basically all that will be required is flushing out debris, chemicals or contaminants and then covering and protecting the eye, this is a relatively easy first aid procedure that can be taught in staff meetings or in more comprehensive first aid classes and programs. If there are eye wash stations in the building or facility all staff should also be trained in correctly using the eye wash station and completing any documentation or accident reports associated with the incident. Can eye care kits be included in a larger first aid kit? Locating eye care kits within the large first aid kit is certainly a possibility, although it may not be the most efficient or most effective way to provide easy and immediate access to the kit in eye injury situations. Since eye care kits are very small compared to a standard first aid kit, they can easily be kept in cabinets, desks or drawers close to any work area. This allows immediate and fast access to the kits as soon as a injury occurs. Keeping these individual eye kits within a durable yet lightweight plastic box with a gasket type seal and a secure closing mechanism will ensure that moisture and dust can't enter the box, keeping the contents clean and sterile for use as needed.