Do you have a first aid kit at home?
How about in your car? If you have one, when was the last time you looked at the contents? You might be surprised at what you find if you haven’t looked at your first aid kit in a while, especially if it’s been sitting in your car for a long time.
The bandages in a first aid kit will degrade over time no matter the environment but the temperature fluctuation in your car will accelerate the process. The paper that seals the bandages and keeps them clean will separate exposing the bandage. When you need it, you may not be putting a clean bandage on that cut. That can lead to infection. Also, if you use any of the items from your first aid kit, you need to make sure you replace them.
What do you really need?
What do you really need in a first aid kit anyway? Well, it depends on the activities you are doing and the kit’s intended purpose. It would be great to have a separate kit for home, hiking, bicycling, hunting, etc. but that’s not always practical. I did a little research to see what some of the experts recommend. To compile one big list, I pulled together three different lists I found on the internet. I combined them and eliminated duplicates. Then I attempted to group them for convenience. There are no quantities because it will depend on how many people you are preparing the kit for. In full disclosure, I don’t know what everything in this list is for.
WebMD mentioned that contact lens solution can be handy for flushing eye injuries and can be used on other wounds too. You can get small bottles for portability. They also noted that the best place to store a first-aid kit in the house is in the kitchen. That makes sense since many injuries happen there anyway and it tends to be sort of the center of the home. The humidity in the bathroom can shorten the shelf-life of your first aid supplies.
One item on the list that I had never heard of was the tooth preservation kit suggested by Kidshealth.org. Here’s a link (yes, an affiliate link) to one on Amazon. It has some sort of salt solution to store the tooth in until you can get to a dentist to have it re-implanted. This one has a 2 year shelf life.
Of course, you should modify this list if you are packing a first-aid kit for a specific activity but this should give you a good foundation. Also, you can always purchase a ready made one. You can find them all over, but a good place to get one is right from the Red Cross website. There are also a few affiliate links to kits on Amazon below. Thanks and stay safe.
Outdoor first aid - Outdoor Life
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Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2020
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