Tuesday, April 25, 2017

First Aid Kits - Home and Car Kits

I think I have posted a blog about this years ago but I am too lazy to go searching for it. Okay, I went searching for it and I did find this:

A Prepared Mom Purse

Our First Aid Kit

Both are exactly what I thought I had posted. Both were written 6 years ago and a lot has happened since then.

With three kids in their late teens we are pretty active and are in our first aid kit often.  Having also moved four times in the past four years I am so thankful that we started using a tool box for our first aid kit.  It was so easy to pack it up and take it with us wherever we were going.  Sometimes it was in the car, sometimes in our travel trailer (where we lived for a bit) and then it was always the first thing we moved into our new houses. And, boy, did we USE it!!!

I am currently restocking my big first aid "Tool Box" kit.  It is a true tool box.  Well, it is more like an art kit tool box.  It has a pull out shelf and it is translucent.  It's big enough to hold a full box of meds, bandaids, etc. It looks similar to this-------------------------->

 In it I keep:

  • A tube of Advil (our go-to pain reliever) This is the small tube that you can get at the check out line section at the grocery store.  I restock it when it gets low from a larger more economical bottle of Advil.  This is the kind that has the twist off top and is a little larger than a chapstick tube.
  • Chapstick - plain flavor not extra medicated.
  • Spray neosporin - small, portable and easy to use.
  • Tube of neosporin - because the spray isn't for everything. (like eyes or wounds where you don't want to be spraying something on it)
  • portable thermometer - we have a regular old school mercury one in a protective case.
  • gauze pads
  • first aid tape
  • ACE bandage
  • pair of scissors
  • lots of band-aids in different sizes, shapes, and materials.  Some are water proof, some are not.  Some are fabric, some are not.  Some even have cartoon characters on them.
  • a clean, large, all cotton cloth (to be used as a sling, large wrap, tourniquet, etc.)
  • fingernail clippers, toenail clippers, tweezers
  • Allergy meds like Benadryl (we have a couple kids who have allergies and Benadryl works pretty effectively for them)
  • Benadryl "after bite" itch cream.
  • Small trial size of hand lotion.

There are a few things that I have found that over the years we have no longer use or that I feel like I can leave out of the first aid kit now.
  • An extra pair of contact lens.  When we were living in our trailer in between homes, I kept an extra pair of contact lenses in there.  I also had an extra pair in my purse first aid kit and an extra pair in our bug out bag. It was redundant.  In a pinch we would grab our BOB and my purse before we would grab our big first aid kit.  So the contact lenses have come out of our big first aid kit.
  • Bactine Spray - if it came in a smaller size I would keep it but I have found that Bactine over time will start to make everything stink like alcohol as the alcohol in the Bactine evaporates.  So I replaced it with Neosporin spray. 
Car Kits:

In the car we keep a smaller first aid kit.  In my son's car he has the basics (bandaids in different sizes, neosporin spray, gauze and gauze tape, ACE bandage, tweezers, Advil, sun screen, chapstick, hand lotion)  He plays sports so I figure sports injuries will prevail, like cuts, scrapes, etc from sliding into bases and colliding with cleats.  I have a feeling his first aid kit will probably end up in his baseball bag and go with him into the dugout.

My daughter's car kit has pretty much the same stuff including a clean cloth and allergy meds.  

Our family car kits again, have pretty much the same stuff.  It also includes allergy meds and contact solution.

As you can see I have tailored the kits to what they will most likely need for whom will be in the car with them.

Purse Kit:

In my purse I carry a small make up bag that I have filled with all the things we most likely will need.  I always have my purse with me so over the years the contents have become more tailored to exactly what we need.  Ready for this??? 
  • bandaids - few in each size, one pretty large one (I replace these as we use them)
  • Advil - a tube of Advil
  • Benadryl tablets
  • Dental Floss
  • Eye rewetting drops
  • Chapstick
  • Cough drops
  • Tampons
  • A sanitary pad
  • Hair rubber band
  • Eyeglasses repair kit
In my purse I already carry a whistle on my keychain, a small flashlight (you can get these for a dollar or so in grocery stores or at Walmart.) so I don't need these items in my first aid kit.
Travel packs:

My kids are going away this summer on a mission trip.  While there will be a guide and chaperones each will still take a small first aid kit in their luggage.  They will be flying so some of the items will probably have to be packed in their suitcases until they get to their destination.  Then they can move those items to their backpacks. 

In their kits they will each have:
  • bandaids of different sizes and types
  • neosporin spray and cream
  • sunscreen
  • chapstick
  • a bandana
  • nail file, nail clippers, tweezers (probably these will need to be packed in their suitcase while flying)
  • Advil (travel size)
  • Benadryl Tablets (for my allergy girl)
  • small flashlight
They will be carrying a backpack each day with them while on their trip.  They will have extra socks (they will be hiking), flip flops, a sweatshirt, a rain jacket, water bottle, first aid kit, a bit of money, camera.... oh you get the idea.

Basically, think about where you need a first aid kit and then the items that you think you will need on a regular basis as well as on rare occurrences.   Find a bag or box to contain all the items in.  If it is for your car, do you need a soft pack or a hard case?  Does it need to contain a lot of items or can it be small enough to fit in your glove compartment?  Will you be using it to carry your other emergency gear like flashlight, jumper cables, rags or towel?  Personally, I like to keep these things separate from my first aid kit.  Often my first aid kit floats around in the far back of the car or in the trunk.

Everyone is different and everyone's needs are different.  Assess your family's needs and adjust the contents of your kit accordingly.  Think about these main ideas though: small cuts, bites/stings, pain reliever, allergy meds, larger wounds needing wraps (like gauze or cloth), more serious injury like broken bones or sprains.  

Another option is to buy a premade first aid kit rather than make your own.  A good kit has everything that you would need for general first aid events.  Then over time you can tailor it to your own needs.

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