Customize Your First Aid Kit
You have three first-aid kits, don’t you? One in the house, one in the car, and one in your emergency backpack?
You can buy a reasonable pre-built kit for around $20. But, as always with pre-built collections,
Are your first-aid kits well-stocked?
- First, your kits should have high-quality items. I’ve read so many reviews that mention scissors that won’t cut or tweezers that don’t tweeze!
- Second, contents should match your own level of medical knowledge. For example, some pre-made kits contain actual surgical equipment – probably useless and even dangerous for the untrained.
- Third, your kit should have room for any specialty items that fit your family members, your climate and potential natural emergencies. For example, you may need to add sunscreen, water purification tablets or insect repellent, given where you live.
Extras that may make the difference.
Spend some time reading the list of items contained in several of the ready-made kits, and you may get some good ideas for extras. Here are a few to consider.
As the name suggests, this liquid can be applied to small cuts or wounds. It quickly dries, holding the cut together or covering the wound with a tough “skin” that protects the wound from dirt, is flexible and waterproof, and antiseptic to boot. (Won’t stick if applied to wet or bloody skin.) This pack has four bottles.
Tampons and pads
If you have a cut that needs more than a band aid, a pad gives you something solid to apply pressure against. As for tampons, obviously they could be used to plug a puncture – and the string can serve as the wick for a long-lasting emergency light if you have oil as a fuel. Head to your local drugstore to pick up the sizes and style you want. If they aren’t packaged individually, you can always put a few into a plastic bag and then into your kit. Be sure to use the unscented versions.
Hand sanitizer wipes
We’ve all used “wipes” after eating messy food – and discovered that some are a lot better than others, and smell better, too! Still, in an emergency, probably any reasonable sanitizing wipe would be better than nothing. Individually packed wipes can be tucked right into your first aid kit. A small plastic bottle of hand sanitizer could work, too. I’ve used Purell and liked it.
Individually wrapped: PURELL Sanitizing Hand Wipes Individually Wrapped 100-ct. Box
Small, 2 oz. bottles: Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer, 2 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Ace bandage or “self-stick” bandage
In rough terrain, an ace bandage can keep your turned ankle functioning. A standard ace bandage needs safety pins or special clips to keep it secured; the “self-stick” version looks the same but sticks to itself just like cling wrap.
Standard bandage with clips: ACE Elastic Bandage with Hook Closure, 3 Inches (Pack of 2)
Self-stick version: ACE Self-Adhering Elastic Bandage, 2 Inches (Pack of 3)
Taping gauze over a wound takes precision. If you mess up, drop a piece, etc., you can go through the provided supply very quickly. My recommendation – add another generous roll of 1 in. tape to your kit so you won’t run out.
Durapore Medical Tape, Silk Tape – 1 in. x 10 yards – Each Roll
Your Emergency Plan Guide team
P.S. While you’re thinking about First Aid kits, you may want to review this Advisory about the dangers of out-of-date medicines.
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