Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A First-aid Kit in Every Home

Several years ago, our sons and I attended an Emergency Preparedness presentation in Utah by Maralin Hoff, Utah’s Earthquake Lady. She conveyed many great ideas that we dutifully noted and avowed to adopt in our own preparedness activities.
First Aid KitAt the end of the presentation, she merrily opened a box of Bandages and tossed them like candy to the audience. Of course we all reached out to make sure that we got at least one of these dollar store treasures for our very own. Maralin’s purpose for the audience participatory give-away was to get us to put one in our wallets or purses. She bolded stated that we would all find a need for them before too long.
We dutifully tucked them in our wallets and then inspected the extra one that was attached to another from the grabfest. They really were from the dollar store and weren’t made of the woven stretch any direction material like the expensive Band-Aid brand plasters. It was an inexpensive but effective presentation of the concept. We never expected to use them, but we were prepared.
Plano_FirstAidKit_contents_smA few weeks later, the boys and I were talking about properly fitting our 72-hour backpacks so they didn’t wear out the Dad that was carrying them. Our oldest son mentioned that he had used the bandage in his wallet to patch a cut on his son’s finger while at a remote camping site. “It was very handy. I just opened my wallet rather than finding the big kit. The cut wasn’t much, but it wouldn’t stop breaking open every time he gripped something.” Then our youngest son spoke up saying he’d not only used the giveaway bandage but had gone through the two he’d used to reload his wallet. I couldn’t top that story but I too had used my bandage on the hand of another of our grandchildren.
We hadn’t carried bandages in our wallets up to this point in time. Why did we suddenly need them now? Did we use them unnecessarily just because we had them? Actually, all of the hurts they covered needed a bandage. A unique sequence of events in cosmic convergence or had we actually needed them all along but had brushed that thought off for years?
PL_kit_tubs_contents_smOur conclusion was that we really had needed them. The tip to carry them was not only needed but was provident counsel. You’ll want to consider putting a Band-Aid or two in your own wallets and purses. You’ll inevitably use them and be glad you had them within easy reach.
Do you have a good First-Aid kit in your home? In your vehicles? In your emergency kits? A few years ago, the Provident Living section of the church’s website included a list of items that should be in a home first-aid kit. The list has been added to the First-Aid Kit content suggestions.
If you have a First-Aid kit already, do you have it in a place where it can be accessed easily? Do you refill it frequently?
All too often, families purchase or make a First-Aid kit and then shop from it over time. Young folks seem to constantly need a band-aid and Neosporin on cuts and contusions. We shop from our kits and all too soon they are fairly severely depleted and quickly descend in to disarray.
PL_kit_tub1_smWe should add “review and replenishment” of the contents in our kits to the checklist and updating activities to regular bi-annual events so we remember to do it.
If you don’t have a good First-Aid book, get one. The American Red Cross has published a good basic book as has the American Medical Association. They can be found on Amazon.com if you can’t find them locally and are less than $13.00.
Basic First-Aid skills training should be high on our ‘must’ lists. Classes are taught by the Red Cross and other entities such as hospital personnel, emergency responders (typically associated with the Fire Department – Paramedics). Take the class and then teach your families how to care for minor injuries. Clinics are close to us, but when an injury happens, you may be in a remote area. Even seemingly minor injuries can become ‘major’ if they are not properly addressed.
Two other books you may want to consider adding to your library are: “Where There Is No Doctor” and “Where There Is No Dentist”. Fathers would enjoy receiving them as Fathers Day or birthday gifts or they can be downloaded for no cost from the Hesperian Foundation at the addresses below: (Don’t assume you’ll have power for your computer in an emergency though…. That would indeed exemplify very poor planning on our part. Hard copies are for sale on the site.)
Where There Is No Doctor http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download_wtnd.php
Where There Is No Dentist http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download_dentist.php

First Aid Kit Suggestions

Airway, Breathing and Circulation
  • Pocket mask
  • Face shield
  • Oropharyngeal airway
  • Nasopharyngeal airway
  • Bag valve mask
  • Manual aspirator or suction unit
Adhesive Bandages
  • Moleskin
  • Dressings
  • Eye pads
  • Gauze pads
  • Non-stick Teflon pad
  • Petrolatum gauze pad
  • Gauze roller bandages
  • Elastic bandages
  • Adhesive roller bandages
  • Triangular bandages
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Saline to clean wounds
  • Soap to clan superficial wounds
  • Burn dressing
  • Adhesive tape, hypoallergenic
  • Hemostatic agents to clot bleeding
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Gloves, disposable
  • Goggles
  • Surgical mask or N95 masks
  • Apron
Instruments and Equipment
  • Trauma shears
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Lighter to sterilize tweezers or pliers
  • Alcohol pads
  • Irrigation syringe
  • Flashlight
  • Chemical cold packs
  • Alcohol rub or antiseptic hand wipes
  • Thermometer
  • Space blanket
  • Penlight
Life Saving Medications
  • Aspirin
  • Epinephrine auto injector (brand name Epipen)
Pain Killing Medications
  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen or Naproxen
  • Codeine
Symptomatic Relief Medications
  • Anti-diarrhea medications
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Antihistamine
  • Poison treatments - activated charcoal
  • Smelling salts
Topical Medications
  • Antiseptic ointments - Neomycin
  • Iodine
  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Burn gel
  • Anti-itch ointment - Hydrocortisone and Antihistamine creams
  • Calamine lotion
  • Anti-fungal cream
  • Tincture of benzoin
First Aid Kit List from Provident Living 2006
  • Medical-grade vinyl gloves
  • Poison ivy relief cream
  • Burn relief cream
  • Sunscreen, SPF of 30 or greater
  • Antibiotic ointment, Polysporin® or similar
  • Sting relief lotion or ointment, calamine or similar
  • Box of sterile gauze pads, either 3" x 3" or 4" x 4"
  • Abdominal (ABD) or combine sterile pad, 5" x 9"
  • Rolled gauze of 2 sizes, 2" x 4 yards and 4" x 4 yds
  • Bandages of assorted types: finger, knuckle, plastic, Telfa®, and general adhesive
  • Sterile oval eye pad
  • Small sharp scissors
  • Tweezers with pointed tip
  • Thermometers, oral and rectal (for babies)
  • Elastic bandage, 3" x 6"
  • Instant ice pack
  • Roll of adhesive tape, 1" wide, may use plastic type if preferred
  • Triangular bandages, 2
  • Package of safety pins, assorted sizes
  • Absorbent cotton balls, 1 box
  • Diarrhea remedy, Pepto-Bismol® or Kaopectate®
  • Popsicle® (craft) sticks or finger splints
  • Antibacterial soap, liquid or bar
  • Medicine dropper
  • Water purification tablets
  • Small bottle of bleach
  • Sharp knife or multipurpose knife/tool
  • Bottles of aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen (children’s or liquid if needed)
  • Splint materials: thin boards 2-3' long
  • Cough syrup and throat lozenges
  • Large plastic trash bag and several smaller, zip-closure bags


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