Spring brings with it new energy and life. I hope that you are keeping up with us and have planted your bare root stock, purchased garden seed and planned it out. There is great joy in spending time outdoors and watching the beauty of nature unfold.
This month we are going to change directions a little.
Injuries are a part of of life. We are bound to be injured occasionally even when we exercise great care. Most injuries are minor and can easily be treated with a few supplies right at home with a little advance preparation.
It is important to note that even minor injuries have the ability to become life threatening if not treated appropriately. We have a friend who was poked by a thorn in her rose garden. She didn’t think it was a big deal and neglected to clean it right away. This seemingly insignificant injury was the cause of an infection that cost her a lengthy hospital stay and almost took her life.
A well-stocked first aid kit is the first step in preparing for accidents and emergencies:
• Keep a first aid kit in your home and in your car.
• Carry a first aid kit with you or know where you can find one.
• Find out the location of first aid kits where you work.
Whether you buy a first aid kit or put one together, make sure it has all the items you may need:
• Include any personal items such as medications and emergency phone numbers or perhaps a medical history and medication list for someone with complex medical issues.
• Check the kit regularly.
• Fresh batteries for a bright flashlight are important for better wound inspection.
• Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents.
The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the following:
2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
5 antiseptic wipe packets
2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
1 blanket (space blanket)
1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
1 instant cold compress
2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches) [Available on the Red Cross Store]
5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
2 triangular bandages
First aid instruction book
Flashlight with fresh batteries
That standard kit doesn’t meet the real needs of our family, but it is a good foundation. Our family first aid kit is kept in a large fishing tackle organizer. We keep several boxes of adhesive bandages in all shapes, sizes and cartoon characters on hand. Consider storing items such as Coban (self-adhering wrap) and other items to take care of larger injuries. Take a course in first aid and practice those skills regularly.
The goal for May 2015 is to inventory your first aid kits and spend at least $20 to re-stock them with fresh supplies. First aid kits should be kept in strategic locations such as in each vehicle and survival kit along with a main kit at home. Don’t underestimate the amount of supplies you might need in a real emergency.
Super simple. You can do this. Take 15 minutes to inventory your kits and spend $20 to purchase new supplies.