What with the world ending this year, the inevitable zombie uprising, and everyday life being everyday life, it makes good sense to have a first aid kit to hand for those bumps, scraps, cuts and bites. But what do you put in it? Is it worth buying one off the shelf? How often do you replace the components of the kit? Do you have a separate one for your vehicle as well as one for your car?
If you search online there are a multitude of opinions of what you do and don’t need. Some lists go overboard and expect you to stock everything from a basic band aid to surgical equipment, others go the opposite way and describe a kit that would fit inside your pocket.
When looking at creating two separate kits, one for home and one for your vehicle, it should be fairly obvious that while both will require the basic same supplies, you generally don’t require a thermometer in a car or a special blanket at home. While over the counter pain killers are normally not found in a home first aid kit, they can be useful in a vehicle, especially with a couple of singing kids in the back seats.
For both kits, you do need sterile gauze pads and adhesive tape, band aids of various sizes (and types such as water proof, material), antiseptic wipes, antiseptic liquid such as hydrogen peroxide, tweezers, sharp scissors, safety pins, disposable instant hot and cold packs. Sunscreen, and sun block should be in both kits as well as something similar to Calamine lotion for when the sun screen was forgotten. As your house should have more alternative supplies to hand as well as being the place where you are more likely to require medical attention, this is where things begin to differ.
A thermometer at home is useful, and please make it one that goes in the mouth just incase you forget which end it goes in. On the road, a flash light and blanket are both a good idea, especially if you plan to make a night of it!
Somewhere in both kits you should have a water proof list of your emergency numbers, family doctor, dentist, emergency contacts. Better to have the list at hand than spend minutes looking for a phone book.
Perhaps the most contentious item will be one that actually doesn’t touch the injury, a first aid manual. If you have ever felt as if you had symptoms of an illness and decided to google said symptoms, you know how quickly you will discover you could be suffering from a variety of benign or deadly afflictions. Unless the injury is visible, such as a break or a cut, do you really want to play guess the ailment when someone is actually in pain? The manual should be picked out carefully, looking for the important basic information, rather than the fanciful how to diagnose leprosy or lupus, you can leave that up to Dr. House.
Once you have your kits, it helps to store them in a water proof container, placed in a safe but easy to get to location and remember to check on the contents from time to time. Medicine can be out of date, and other items may become less useful as time goes on.
What would you add or remove to your kit?