Now that school is almost out (yikes!) and summertime travel is just around the corner, I thought it might be a good time to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a very long time – put together a First Aid Kit for the car.
Everyone will need to use a first aid kit at some time, and of course no one knows when that time will be. So, I thought it was high time that I take some advice from the Boy Scouts and BE PREPARED!
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Pre-packaged, ready-to-go first aid kits are available from many stores, but you can make a simple and inexpensive kit yourself. Many of the items I included in our first aid kit I already had on hand. What I didn’t have was some sort of container to store all of my items in, and one that wouldn’t take up too much space in my car.
Enter the good ol’ TACKLE BOX. This one set me back about $11 at Walmart. It’s probably not the color I would have chosen if I’d had a choice, but we’re going for utility here, not fashion! :-) Check out Amazon as well.
There are about a million different lists out there online of what you should keep in a first aid kit. I decided that I would base my first aid kit around the recommendations from The Red Cross.
The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits (for a family of four) include the following:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
Here is what you’ll find in MY travel first aid kit (personalized to our family needs, and in no particular order):
- Bandaids (assorted sizes)
- Gauze pads
- Bandage tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Gauze roll
- Cotton rounds
- Cotton swabs
- Cotton balls
- Antiseptic solution
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Rubbing alcohol
- Lip balm
- Glucose tablets
- Anti-diarrheal tablets
- Allergy relief tablers
- Hydrocortisone ointment
- Saline nasal spray
- Eye droppers
- A sewing kit
- Vinyl gloves
- Antibacterial wipes
- A bar of soap
- Triangle bandages
- Bandage wrap
And last, but not least, there is no better tool in the event of an emergency than a cell phone! Your first aid kit can only get you so far in the event of an emergency if you can’t contact emergency medical services. Cell phones need to have enough battery power to turn on and function, but the phone doesn’t need a service contract to be able to call 9-1-1. Take that old cell phone you don’t use anymore, charge it up, and put it in your first aid kit for emergencies.
Now that your kit is complete, make sure you know how to properly use all of the items in your kit. The Red Cross offers First Aid and CPR trainings in person and online, which will help you feel confident and ready to respond in emergency situations. And don’t forget to teach your family how to utilize your first aid kit, in case you are ever the one in need of aid.