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Thread: First Aid Kits

  1. #1
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    First Aid Kits

    Let me begin by asking how does one search the forum for posts and threads about first aid kits? I tried, but "first aid kit" is entirely composed of words that are too short, long, or common to search on. What a bummer. I'm sure we've talked about this before but I can't find those discussions. So, sorry if this is a duplicate thread (and please tell me where to find the other threads, if you know!).

    I've been carrying a little first aid kit around for the last 3 years. The contents came from a kit I bought at Target: insect bite wipes, antibacterial wipes, bandaids, and stickers. Just the basics. I decanted them into a pen/pencil clear OP and tucked it into my Diaper Charmer. When Mr. Janine and the kids were in the wreck on Saturday, Mr. Janine used up most of the contents to patch up my MIL (she had scrapes on her arms from where she jostled up against the car seats).

    I've never had to refill the first aid kit until now, so I'm debating whether to buy another complete kit or to source only the components that I need. I'm sure buying another kit will be the most cost-effective solution but a wee part of me wants to take more control over my emergency supplies. Plus I think it might be a good idea to make up additional kits to carry around.

    What advice would you offer regarding small, easy-to-use first aid kits?

    ps. I'm squeamish so things like needles and thread for makeshift sutures will totally creep me out. ;-)
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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    I'm sure there are medical people in the forum who could weigh in here, but maybe a good place to start is by reviewing what you used, didn't use, wish you had in your kit but didn't. Buying a premade kit, i've found is a little too basic for me for the car and travel. For my purse, bandaids, cleanser, antibiotic ointment, blister treatment. For the car kit, I add super sanitary napkins for staunching bleeding, tweezers, scissors, tape, gauze packs, etc. And more of what's in my purse.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

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    Hope everyone's fine, Janine, must have been all you can do not to freak out at the news.
    First Aid Kit Ideas
    EDC Emergency Kit
    One thing I can suggest if you're going to include Band aids, there's a surprising range on the market nowadays, I would suggest getting a type meant for sensitive skin, they're much easier to remove when you want to, and they don't leave the horrible residue the conventional ones do.

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    Hmmm, no help on the Google-fu, but I will say that I once bought a ready-made kit. I stuck it in my glove compartment, then it migrated to the coat closet and finally to the basement, where I found it years later, completely untouched. Everything had dried out or expired or crumbled to pieces.

    In practice - I find that the supplies I use most frequently are water (I just use my usual EDC water bottle) - either for cleaning a wound or washing grit out of eyes; antibiotic cream - you could sub an antiseptic spray, if you prefer; Band-aids (I like the fingertip ones made of flexible fabric, those funny-looking "H"s and butterfly shapes work surprisingly well for many parts of the human body); and ibuprofen. Those are always in my purse.

    If I were to add anything - for a travel kit, I'd add some adhesive medical tape - the kind that's made from paper, as it's gentler on fragile skin; gauze pads; an Ace bandage or two. I guess if you are trained in CPR/resuscitation, or if you are likely to need to administer the latter, you could add a breathing barrier. I also always have a thermometer and personal meds - for kids and for me - when we travel.

    In a pinch I have lots of spare clothes in my trunk which would probably work fine as bandages/pads if the gauze was not enough. There's also a blanket which could be used for emergency transport. If you are a babywearer, you could throw in a sling or Ergo. I'm all about MacGyvering things.

    ETA: I am considering an Organizer Pouch or 3DCOC as a permanent first-aid kit. There you go, small and easy to transport!
    Last edited by haraya; 07-13-2014 at 09:34 PM.

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    While most of the ready made first aid kits may not have everything you want, and you may need to customize them, they can be a good starting point to at least get ideas about what you want in your kit. For a travel or daily lightweight kit, Adventure Medical Kits has a travel kit that has some of the commonly used items that might be handy, at least to consider for a starting point. It never hurts to add extra pain killers and bandages. AMK also makes some ultralight and watertight kits like the .5 which are nice basic hiking kits to add on to, but it can difficult to get items in and out of the packaging. It is hard to find the proper balance between preparedness and attaining a manageable size and weight. It is easier to have a comprehensive car kit with those great suggestions above (medical tape, gauze, etc) and disposable gloves that fit. Also, duct tape never hurts to fix a lot of things! Definitely, @monkeylady's idea of a base kit that you can add additional components to is a great one.
    Last edited by NWhikergal; 07-13-2014 at 11:00 PM.

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    I have a homemade collect in my daily EDC that is in a small clear OP (will add a pic later today) that includes:
    bandaids (both princess and teenage mutant ninja turtle for proper gender-based stereotype bandaging needs--kids are 7 and almost 5!)
    neosporin spray
    small disposable eye rinses
    kid advil
    mom aleve and tylenol
    kid dramanine
    benadryl
    purell alcohol hand wipes
    pedialyte powder
    curing pills--these are Chinese herbal formula for nausea. they are the best.
    sample of boudreauxs butt paste. no diapers anymore, but is good for chafed/irritated skin or bug bites

    In the car, I have one that also includes scissors, bandaids, roll bandaging material, tape, gauze squares, burn gel, alcohol wipes, that silver thermal blanket material, and Yunnan Bai Yao--another Chinese formula for bleeding. It is in a zipped red pouch with the big white cross on it--came with some other bag many moons ago.

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    @Janine Some very good suggestions in the previous posts, both about what to carry and how to proceed if you want to make up a first aid kit of your own. I'll add to @NWhikergal's suggestion by saying that if you want to customize your own lightweight kit,Another good option is to start with an ALOKSAK bag for the contents, if you think you might be taking your kit places where the extra sealant protection will help keep your items from water, sand, dirt, etc. (You mentioned a car wreck, and I can also imagine your taking your two small guys to the beach, or other such location.) I've linked to the Amazon site, but you can probably find these items at a store for hiking/camping/sports goods or online at sites like backpackinglite.com (currently out of stock). (By the way @monkeylady, LOKSAK also makes odor proof OPSAKs if you need to carry Coca tea bags for high altitude sickness in future without having the smell spread to your luggage.)

    I found this EDC forums post useful for showing a sample of how you might make up your own kit, and get an idea of the size of items in a pouch. There's a list of pouch contents In the next post.

    Finally, don't forget @taminca's double organizer pouch emergency kit post. You could modify those contents for your own first aid kit use.

    I sometimes include band aids that have antibiotic ointment already on the pad. This is more likely to be carried in a purse than kept as a car kit, because you have to be aware of expiration dates and storage conditions. But not having to fumble with separately applying an ointment can be handy.

    And as a side searching tip, when you get messages that your search terms are too short or common, you can try putting wild cards in like "first*aid" or "first*aid*kit", or simply bypass the forum search and use Google (e.g. "Tom Bihn first aid kit")

    HTH moriond
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  8. #8
    Nli
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    Good topic! Thanks for bringing it up. If you don't already use them, I would encourage everyone to check out the Nexaband brand of "band aids". They are a home-use version of Tegaderm, widely used in the medical field. No better small (or large!) bandage exists and they make conventional band aids seem laughable. A bit tricky to apply, but once you figure out the technique, the bandages stick for a LONG time (two - three weeks on my son who showers several times a day after some recent mole removals compared to changing regular bandages one or more times daily). Only problem: they can be tough to find - I have given up in my smallish town and now order several boxes at a time from an online drugstore. They are transparent, thus very cosmetic, leave no residue, come in a wide range of sizes and last forever - have a few in my S19 at all times and they are years old at this point. Just used one 3 days ago and it's still stuck like a leech on the back of my hand. An additional benefit: highly occlusive for maintaining medications in place on the skin and for keeping wounds, incisions and such covered, and thus moist, throughout the entire healing process which results in significantly reduced scarring, actually amazingly so. HIGHLY recommend these!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nli View Post
    Good topic! Thanks for bringing it up. If you don't already use them, I would encourage everyone to check out the Nexaband brand of "band aids". [...] the bandages stick for a LONG time (two - three weeks on my son
    Interesting!! I like the longevity aspect in particular (both in and out of package) How are they to remove after such a long time, do you have to be careful about tearing skin?

    (Not so worried about myself, but I know now to steer clear of the "sport" and "heavy-duty" Band-aids because on my kids they've caused some minor re-injury upon removal - pulling on the healthy skin.)
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    (also, not to hijack the thread, but while we're on the topic of emergency preparedness, does anyone recall what thread it was that referred to a primer for evacuation from airplanes? It started out as a discussion of EDC flashlights and went on from there. I did a couple of preliminary searches but haven't turned it up yet. There may also have been a mention of the SAS emergency handbook - which I think I need to get! )

    Oh and back to Janine/the OP - I forgot to say that I always have a small Swiss knife - with scissors - and a flashlight with me. Although I consider them part of my EDC rather than my first-aid kit, they certainly come in handy for first-aid purposes too! (snipping bandages, lighting up the area you're treating, etc.)
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  11. #11
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    You might also check the Red Cross kits for suggestions for putting together your own kit(s). There are also some resources available with basic first aid info: First Aid Kits - Red Cross Store and http://www.redcrossstore.org/shopper...LocationId=286
    Last edited by Grandcache; 07-14-2014 at 06:36 AM.
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    Lots of assorted purples, some blues, and a bit of black: 2S19, 5SE, 2WF, MCB, SCB, Imago, 2S, LS, TT, K, 2QC, 5 3D, 4WFSBPC, 2WFBPPC, FJNB, 4Wallets, 4LSB, 2SSB, DLBP, Pilot, Assorted sacks, packing cubes, organizer pouches, key straps :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    (also, not to hijack the thread, but while we're on the topic of emergency preparedness, does anyone recall what thread it was that referred to a primer for evacuation from airplanes? It started out as a discussion of EDC flashlights and went on from there. I did a couple of preliminary searches but haven't turned it up yet. There may also have been a mention of the SAS emergency handbook - which I think I need to get! )
    @haraya The reference on surviving an airplane crash was from this post (#5) in the 3 weeks across USA in June thread:
    Excerpted from Doug Dyment's OneBag web site PDF document on How to Survive a Plane Crash:
    HTH moriond

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    I always carry an Adventure Medical Kit FAK. I think that's a great way to start with all the basics, and then you can customize it (ie, add to it) as you figure out what you need. I can suggest adding extra tylenlol, advil, etc, as well as a tube of after-bite, and extra band-aids as a start.

  14. #14
    Amy
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    My EDC "first aid kit" is nothing more than the medical stuff that I need in my mundane daily life, which I carry in a tiny zippered pouch in one of the inner pockets of my side effect. It includes:

    - 6 bandaids (plus some kiddie ones since the kids are often the ones who need them for blisters, imaginary boo-boos, etc.)
    - tweezers (splinter removal tool)
    - nail clippers (emergency scissors, ragged nail removal tool)
    - 3 small square antiseptic wipes (in lieu of neosporin)
    - chapstick or lipstick
    - small baggie containing 6 Advils and 6 Excedrins
    - 2 safety pins
    - 2 "lady supplies" (to alleviate a true emergency)

    I also make sure to have in the side effect:
    - small pack of travel tissues
    - wet wipes
    - tiny jar of sunscreen (dispensed from a full sized one)
    - eye drops

    I love it when when we go out with the grandkids, and I've got most of their playground crisis needs covered (dirty hands, knee scrapes, splinters, sand in eye, etc.). My daughter-in-law seems pretty impressed at my level of child preparedness-- I just whip out whatever they need and I'm often the one they come to first!

    When we go on a trip, I add to that list:

    - bic lighter (for lighting candles or stoves, paracord repair jobs, etc.)
    - more bandaids
    - diarrhea medicine, antacids, motion sickness pills
    - floss (for teeth as well as emergency string or clothes line)
    - water bottle
    - plastic baggies (good for making ice packs)
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    One thing I forgot to mention that has come in handy on several occasions, often to help some one else, is I keep the fastmelt or quick dissolve children's Benadryl in all my kits (half of the adult dose). Since they dissolve when you put them in your mouth they are faster acting than the pills, yet you avoid the hassle of transporting liquids. For reactions to minor bug bites or other kinds of very mild allergic reactions, Benadryl can be a huge helper. If someone has a severe allergy (food or bugs, for example), he or she may have a prescription for an Epi-Pen or something similar. At least for hikes, I always try to ask folks up front if they have any severe allergies and if they carry something like an Epi-Pen, and if so, where is it located.

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