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The First Aid Kit. Why you need one.

Updated: Nov 18, 2022


A first aid kit is any box, kit, or pack that is used to store select medicines and supplies for emergencies. These kits come in handy when dealing with minor medical emergencies like cuts, bruises, insect bites, or sprains. Since these emergencies occur unannounced, it is only prudent that you have a first aid kit everywhere you go. According to healthday.com, 44% of Americans do not have first aid kits. Moreover, a significant number of these kits lack the necessary supplies.


What type to get and where to keep it.


There are several different types of first aid kits that you can use, depending on the location and situation you find yourself in.



Compact first aid kits are best for the trunk of your car. See our first aid kit here.


Properties of a First Aid Kit


First aid kits come in different shapes and sizes. However, the smaller the kit, the easier it is to move around. Additionally, the contents of a first aid kit may vary depending on the needs of the owner. Despite this, some emergency supplies are similar across the board. They are sterile dressings, gauze, bandages, sterile disposable gloves, wound sprays, creams, ointments, scissors, basic painkillers like paracetamol or aspirin, and a thermometer.

Benefits of having a First Aid Kit

Well, there is no limit to the number of benefits one may reap from having a first aid kit;

  • It is a vital lifeline that aids in controlling bleeding or stabilizing a victim during medical emergencies while waiting for help to arrive.

  • Acts as a central kit for storage of all emergency medical supplies at home or office, making it accessible to all when need be.

  • It provides organized storage of emergency supplies according to categories. This allows for easy retrieval during emergencies.

  • Safe storage- when you have young children in the house, the last thing you need is to have medicine or medical accessories lying around. Having a kit makes it easy to keep medical supplies away from children’s reach.

  • Most first aid kits are light and easy to carry around.

  • It is relatively cheaper to buy stock and maintain a first aid kit, rather than purchasing individual medical supplies when the need arises.

  • They are durable since the kits are only used in emergencies, they often last a few years or even longer. A good first aid kit can even last a lifetime! I mean how cool is that?

Shortcomings when owning a First Aid Kit


Perhaps the greatest shortcoming of having a first aid kit is occasional wastage since some medical supplies often expire before being used. However, I consider this within the same concept as having insurance. You may go a long time without using it, often thinking you are wasting money year after year, until that one time you get rear-ended. I hope you never have to use your first aid kit, but you'll be fortunate to have all of your first aid equipment in one, safe place when the time comes that you need to use the supplies.


Precautions when using First aid kits

  • Always check the contents of your first aid kit and replace the medical supplies that have either expired or already been used.

  • Always check the expiry dates of the medicine in the kit and dispose of any expired items.

  • Mark or label your first aid kit for easy identification and have it in an easily accessible area of the house office or car.

  • Ensure all creams, ointments, or wound sprays are securely capped before placing them in the kit. Remember even the slightest leak could cause damage to all other supplies in the kit.

  • Ensure your kit is watertight and is stored in a cool place.

Best First Aid Kit For Your Car

We recommend the 298 piece All-Purpose First Aid Emergency Kit from First Aid Only. Not only is this first aid kit reasonably priced, but it also include nearly 300 items that will be crucial for assisting a victim in an emergency. Kit Includes: Adhesive fabric and plastic bandages, antibiotic ointments, BZK antiseptic towelettes, burn cream packets, aspirin, ibuprofen, gauze roll and pads, wound closures, cold pack, and other multi-use items for any potential emergency.


Best First Aid Kit For Your Home

For your home, we recommend the 330 piece kit from THRIAD. This first aid kit offer more pieces, but more importantly it has more storage for medication/pill bottles and wound care items. In your home you will not have to deal with the overheating issues you would face in a car, so you can feel more comfortable purchasing a more robust kit and not worry about heat damage. This first aid kit will last you a decade or more! This durable, water proof first aid kit packs 250 professional medical supplies - all kinds of bandages, CPR face shield, gloves, iodine prep pads, instant cold pack, tourniquet, etc. Meets international medical standards, 100% latex free.


Best First Aid Kit For Wilderness Survival

This is where a first aid kit goes from an afterthought to a vital survival tool that should

be a requirement in your arsenal. Whether you are a hunter, hiker or camper, you know the treacherous situations you can come up against will in the wilderness. The Emergency Survival First Aid Kit by THRIAID will take your first aid game to the next level. We are not talking Band-Aids and gauze pads here, this survival kit comes packed with Tourniquet, 6" Israeli Bandage, Splint, Knife, EMT Blunt Scissor, Cohesive Bandage 2" x 5 yds, Gauze Roll 3" x 5 yds, Triangular Bandage, Emergency Blanket, ABD Pad, CPR Mask, PVC Gloves, Burn Gel, Band-Aids(10), Alcohol Pads(10), Gauze Pads(4), Medical Tapes(2), and Cotton Tips(20).



Lifeguard First Aid Kits

Anyone who has ever been to the beach knows that lifeguards are there to help keep everyone safe. But did you know that lifeguards also carry first aid kits? The reason for this is simple: accidents happen, and often times those accidents happen near water. By carrying a first aid kit, lifeguards are prepared to deal with any minor injuries that may occur.

Common items in a lifeguard's first aid kit include:


Bandages

Bandages can be used to treat a variety of injuries, from minor cuts and scrapes to more serious wounds. they can also be used to provide support for injured limbs or to immobilize broken bones. In addition, bandages can be used to create splints or tourniquets in case of severe bleeding. In short, bandages are a versatile and essential tool for lifeguards. A first aid kit is not complete without this basic item for common injuries.


Antiseptic Wipes

The best first aid kits will contain a basic first aid supply, the antiseptic wipe. Lifeguards are constantly coming into contact with germs and bacteria. Whether it's from the water, the sand, or the crowds of people, there are many opportunities for lifeguards to pick up sickness-causing microbes. In order to protect themselves and others, lifeguards carry antiseptic wipes. These wipes contain ingredients that kill bacteria and viruses on contact.


By wiping down regularly, lifeguards can reduce their risk of becoming sick and spreading illness to others. In addition, antiseptic wipes can be used to clean minor cuts and scrapes. By keeping wounds clean (and also applying antibiotic ointment) lifeguards can help to prevent infection. So the next time you see a lifeguard reach for a wipes, remember that they're not just being paranoid - they're taking steps to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Many kits will run out of first aid supplies like antiseptic wipes, so make sure to frequently purchase these essential items when you see you're running low.



Sunscreen

As anyone who has ever spent a day at the beach knows, the sun can be incredibly harsh. Therefore, one of the most important items a lifeguard can have in their own first aid kit are essentials such as zinc oxide and sunscreen.

It doesn't take first responders and individuals with medical training to understand the importance of having sunscreen in a comprehensive kit. The UV rays can cause damage to the skin, leading to sunburn, premature aging, and even skin cancer. For lifeguards, who spend hours each day in the sun, this risk is even greater.

By applying sunscreen regularly, lifeguards can help to protect their skin from the harmful effects of the sun. In addition to carrying sunscreen, lifeguards also typically wear hats and sunglasses to further shield their eyes and skin from the sun's rays. This is a perfect example or how lifeguards can stay safe while on duty.

Comprehensive Kits


More serious items, such as EpiPens or CPR masks, may also be included in more comprehensive kits. Lifeguards are trained to provide CPR and first aid in the event of an emergency. However, there are some situations where traditional CPR techniques are not enough. For example, if a swimmer is having a severe allergic reaction, a lifeguard may need to administer an EpiPen.


A quality kit will carry personal medications and even pain meds. Similarly, if a swimmer is not breathing, a lifeguard may need to use a CPR mask. A Lifeguard may require a larger kit as opposed to a compact kit to store these and other items.


Other basic items that a first aid kit would have would be medical tape, various sizes of adhesive bandages, emergency blanket, eye wash, gauze rolls. Remember to look at expiration dates for all items!


These tools allow lifeguards to provide more effective care in a wide range of emergency situations. As a result, they play an essential role in keeping swimmers safe.


Conclusion

First aid kits are important in any setting. Having a fully stocked kit is vital in proper response to emergencies. Remember, sometimes one minute or a few seconds is enough to make all the difference.


Your first aid kit can be a vital tool for starting the lifesaving process, but if a victim were unconscious would you know what to do. Download our free CPR and Lifesaving skills guide by clicking here.

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Hey, I'm Steve Grella, founder of Lifeguard LI. It is my mission to teach every capable person CPR and lifesaving skills. My only question is, do you have what it takes to save a life?

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About Our Founder

Steve Grella is a father of two young boys. He is a Police Detective, EMT, lifeguard trainer and swim instructor, who brings over 20 years of knowledge and expertise in safety and service. He has dedicated his life to educating students in vital lifesaving training and now strives to provide expert resources to arm you with the skills and training to one day save a life if called upon.

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