Tag: bandaids

Specialty First Aid Kit


Are you ready for these unusual threats?

First Aid for Everyday Emergencies

Before we get to our specialty first aid kit discussion, here are a couple of safety rules to live by:

Do not allow a large knife to fall handle first into the garbage disposal while the disposal is running.

What you will discover, if all the stars are aligned, is that that knife will fly out of the disposal and scythe its way through the kitchen, slicing anybody in its path.

In our case, the person in the way was Joe. Specifically, the back of his right hand. (Do not ask for more details.)

And here’s another rule based on personal experience plus a LinkedIn post I read earlier this week:

Assume that, as you set up for an important business presentation, the hinge of a piece of equipment will strike back, gouging a nice chunk out of a finger.

Not exactly everyday accidents, but not unheard of, either! Certainly, breaking the first rule, and then reading about the second rule, made us rethink our own first aid kits — and consider at least one specialty first aid kit as our next project.

Have you considered the state of your own first aid kits?

Where are they?

If you are at home when the wayward knife strikes, your first aid kit is probably in the bathroom. So before you head there to get it, you grab a clean dish towel or a handful of paper towels, and tell the injured person to “apply pressure” to keep more blood off the floor.

If you are in the conference room of a client when the equipment attacks, you may have NO first aid kit handy!

 You certainly don’t have a dish towel and probably don’t have paper towels, either!  (Maybe there will be some napkins over on the table with the coffee.) You grip your bleeding hand with the other hand, getting both of them covered with blood.

Now, if you’ve been through a CERT course, you may have a first aid kit in your car, which is about 2 blocks away in a parking structure. In this case, 2 blocks away is too far away!

How about adding a specialty first aid kit?

Since experts seem to agree that the kitchen and the bathroom are the two most dangerous rooms in the house, why not have kits in each room?

A kitchen kit

In the kitchen, cuts and burns are probably your most likely emergencies.  Your kitchen kit has to have the necessary to respond for all sizes of each.

In our case, a simple band aid wasn’t adequate for the cut on Joe’s hand. And the cut seemed too deep for that handy liquid skin.  We needed to stop the bleeding and close the cut. So, we used folded gauze and several strips of tape, cut to fit. (Which means we had to have scissors, too.)

So, our new kitchen kit will include all those, plus band aids and burn spray.

Traveling kit for business meetings

Our event planning list always has a tool box (for larger events) and a first aid kit. But that’s when we expected a team to be in action.

Now even our smaller meetings – at least, those with presentations! – will contain a specialty first aid kit for pinches, gouges and scrapes! It needs to be small enough to fit into a tote or briefcase.

I picture a ziploc bag with essentials: gauze, tape, band aids, antiseptic cream.  And from the LinkedIn post that I mentioned, this great idea: a RED washcloth to absorb and/or wipe up blood and make it less noticeable!

Your “master” first aid kit — that one in the bathroom — can have dozens of items, depending on your location, your skill level, etc. The list below has suggestions for one of the simpler specialty first aid kits described here.

What do you need for YOUR kits?

Of course, by now you may have thought of a specialty first aid kit that YOU need – like for the kids’ sporting events, or for the woodshop, etc. Each kit might need other items, but you can start with the list below, and have them assembled and IN PLACE with little delay. Click on the image to go to Amazon where you’ll find other styles and sizes.

1-A selection of band aids. These are fabric, which I think holds better than paper.

2-Liquid skin is great stuff. (Some people use crazy glue, but I prefer the “official” item!) Use when a bandaid will get in the way, get dirty, or can’t cover the scrape. This is a pack of two.

3-Gauze pads for cleaning, absorbing. They come in sterile and in non-sterile packs.

4--Antibacterial cream. You probably already have a tube or two of your favorite cream. This one is ours.

5-Spray for burns. Comes in a pressurized can, like this, or in a pump version. If you’re building a specialized first aid kit that will be traveling a lot, you might prefer the pump version.

6-First aid tape comes in different widths, made of different materials, can be self-adhesive, etc. This one is basic, breathable and works pretty well for any use.

7-You may already have scissors at home, too. For your traveling kit you’d want a small, slim pair like these.

I don’t always show prices, but in this case I was trying to show that with a relatively modest outlay you can have WHAT YOU NEED – in the kitchen and in your briefcase — to stop the bleeding, relieve pain, and take the first steps to get the situation back to normal.

If you already have a good supply of everything you need, just divide things up and you’ll be set! Otherwise, grab a couple of the missing items and complete each specialty first aid kit on your list. It will be worth it!

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

Update from March 7. Following my own advice from last month, I went out last week and added a can of first aid disinfectant spray to my new kitchen first aid kit. I have already used it twice when I grabbed a hot pot handle with bare fingers. You can also get mini-sized sprayers, perfect for your purse or key ring. Click on one of these recommendations from Amazon and shop there to see what might fit your kitchen needs.

My New First Aid Kit


Last week’s article about “extra” items for a first aid kit inspired me to use the topic for our monthly neighborhood emergency planning group meeting.

The meeting turned out to be . . .

Another good meeting idea!

First Aid Kit with missing items

Here’s how it went.


  1. First, I invited our neighbor Theresa, who is a Registered Nurse, as our featured guest. She brought along her own first aid bag as a “show and tell.”
  2. Second, so we’d have something to compare it to, I bought a brand new first aid kit (cost around $10) at the hardware store down the street (photo).
  3. Third, as a reference, I printed out the Red Cross’s list of “20 basic first aid items.” Everybody got a copy.

As Theresa pulled out an item from her bag, we checked it off the Red Cross list and then looked in the kit I’d bought to see if it was included.

Results of the Comparison

Number of items

The new kit had about 60% of the items suggested on the Red Cross list.

First Aid Kit items, Red Cross list


The bigger problem: nearly everything in the kit was in miniature! Packets were tiny (one squeeze, and the ointment would all be gone), gauze squares were tiny, gloves were tiny. We all laughed, in particular, at the roll of adhesive tape. Take a look at it in the photo, bottom right. Really, it’s about as big around as a quarter and weighs less!

Missing from both the list and the kit

Here are the items that Theresa had in her kit that were not in the kit AND were not on the Red Cross list:

  1. Antihistamine ointment
  2. Liquid skin
  3. Duct tape
  4. Flashlight
  5. Plastic bags
  6. Dust mask
  7. Eyewash
  8. Phone number of Poison Control center
  9. Whistle
  10. Sunscreen
  11. List of medicines currently being taken

And finally, one last item that our group felt needed to be in there:

12. Extra eyeglasses

Shocking finale

Attendees had been invited to bring their own kits to the meeting, too. One guy had his neatly packed into a fishing tackle box. One neighbor shared her pet first aid kit.

What shocked me, however, were the people who admitted they didn’t have a kit in their car. And there were a couple of people who said they didn’t even have a kit in the house!

The reason it’s shocking is because this is our neighborhood emergency group, supposedly tuned in to being prepared!

Lessons learned

Emergency preparedness starts and continues with the basics.

  • If you have a first aid kit, check on its contents and “top it off” with more supplies. Use the lists above for suggestions.
  • If you are missing a kit, build one from scratch or buy an inexpensive one, like I did, and add more supplies.
  • If extended family members don’t have kits, buy up a supply and hand them out for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day or Christmas! Or without any explanation other than, “You need to have this!”

I looked for a better kit. I found one at Amazon that looks pretty good as a starter. I like the way its clear pockets fold out to make things easy to find. It costs about twice as much as the one I bought at the hardware store ($19 instead of $9), but instead of “77 items” it advertises “121 items.” Again, you’ll want to add some extras, but this kit would be a good start, particularly for the car.

Here’s the direct link: AAA 121-Piece Road Trip First Aid Kit

Don’t let something as simple as not having a first aid kit turn an accident into a real emergency!

“Friendly but Forceful” Action item: Take care of your first aid kit/s right away!

Virginia Nicols
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

P.S. What first aid items haven’t been mentioned in this article?  Please share your recommendations in the comments box so we can all benefit.