First Aid Kits
(c) Rod Brouhard
Get a Container for Your First Aid KitYour first aid kit should be accessible and portable. You aren't going to pack the kitchen sink in your first aid kit, but you want it to be big enough to carry the basics. A small tackle box makes a good first aid kit, or it can be as simple as a resealable freezer bag. Consider the type of first aid kit you plan to build and where you will keep your it.
Where to Keep Your First Aid KitFirst aid kits have a habit of ending up in the backyard, upstairs, at the curb, out in the garage, etc. Keeping your home first aid kit in a central location helps to keep it accessible during large or small emergencies. It's a good idea to maintain different first aid kits for the home and each car. Different first aid kits mean they will be available at all times. Some places to keep first aid kits:
- bathroom cabinets
- kitchen cabinets
- car (glove compartment is most accessible)
The Most Important Item for a Car or Boat First Aid KitWhen planning a car or boat first aid kit, there is only one item that is absolutely necessary. No matter what you pack for bandaging material, splints, or even if you have a shield for doing mouth to mouth, your first aid kit must have a cellular phone. There is no better tool in the event of an emergency. If you can't access emergency medical services, your car or boat first aid kit is not complete.
Cellular phones need to have enough battery power to turn on, but they don't need a contract with a service to call 9-1-1. Federal law mandates that cell phones must be able to reach 9-1-1 anytime the number is called, regardless of the service agreement. Take that old cell phone you don't use anymore and put it in your first aid kit for emergencies. If you don't have one, there are programs to unite old, unused cell phones with people who need them for emergencies.
Medical Information for Your First Aid KitWhile not part of your first aid kit, anyone with a medical problem should have that medical information easily accessible at all times. There are several ways to organize medical information and make it available to rescuers.
For the rest of your first aid kit, you'll need:
- acetaminophen and/or
- alcohol wipes
- antiseptic hand cleaner
- medical adhesive tape
- sterile gauze (four inch squares are best)
- elastic bandages
- several sizes of adhesive bandages
- insect bite swabs
- triple-antibiotic ointment
- hydrogen peroxide
- bandage scissors
- triangular bandages
- instant cold packs
- exam gloves
- barrier device for CPR