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Selecting a First Aid Kit (Part 1 of 3)

Posted by Alex Francis on

How to Select and Build a Kit

There's a lot to choose from when selecting a first aid kit.  So how does one make that decision?  Should you make your own?  Should you buy a pre-made kit? Don't worry, we're here to help.  Just buying the first aid kit you see may backfire.  After all, if it doesn't treat the injuries you face, it's a worthless kit. Rescue Trekker recommends following a three-step process to guide you in building your perfect kit:

1)  Where do you need your kit, and how many people it should be able to treat?
2)  Select a pre-made kit fitting most of these needs
3)  Add any additional items you may need

Today's post will go over Part 1.  In Parts 2 & 3, we'll go over the remaining two steps above.  First, grab a pen & paper, and let's consider some of the following environments and common injuries you need to be able to treat.  Take notes!

Different Environments

Office: Common injuries here include paper cuts, strains, sprains, headaches and scrapes.  You may also want to consider more serious injuries, such as those requiring CPR.  Of course, if you work in a more physical setting, be aware of the increased risk of injury.

Home:  There's a lot of accidents that can occur at home.  Incidents include falls, scrapes, headaches, cuts, bruises, burns (electrical and fire) and poisoning.  Children and the elderly are especially prone to injury.

School:  Kids are pretty inventive at hurting themselves, so you'll want to be prepared for everything in the Home category, and more.  If you're a teacher, you will want to make sure you have a larger-sized kit capable of treating more students at one time.

Sports: Athletic First Aid Kits have risen in prominence to specifically treat sports injuries such as strains, cuts, swellings, sprains, and more.  Like teachers, coaches may want kits that can treat multiple athletes simultaneously.  

Outdoors: Common outdoor injuries include cuts, sprains, strains, pain, blisters, sunburn, insect stings/bites and dehydration. If you a need a first aid kit for the outdoors, you'll want to also consider how far away (or how long) you will be from professional medical help.  If you are remote, you may also want survival gear.  Hikers and campers are very aware that kits should be as light-weight as possible.  On a boat, or like to hike in the rain?  You might want a water-proof kit or container as well.

Vehicle: We cannot express enough the importance of a first aid kit in your car.  It travels with you, so it can help you wherever you drive.  Even if you are a safe driver, others may not be. Common injuries include cuts, headaches, and other pain.  However, you may want to consider additional items for your kit to treat more severe injuries until professional help can arrive.  Also consider your average passenger size in the car.  A family of six needs a larger kit than a solo driver.  Human first aid is important, but your vehicle might need a first aid kit of its own.

Wrap-Up

Hopefully by now you have a better understanding of what your first aid needs are.  This will be very helpful in selecting a first aid kit, as we'll show you in the next blog post.  Preparing is surviving, so rest assured your time spent selecting a kit is a worthwhile investment.

Ready to move on to selecting a kit?  Follow the Part 2 blog post here.
Just searching for additional items?  Follow the Part 3 blog post here.


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