If you happen to be a clumsy ox like me, you’re prone to injury at the best of times. My son seems to have inherited this trait (although he comes by it honestly from both his parents) and we often have “ouchies” that require the occasional bandaid, cold compress or disinfecting agent. I don’t remember the last time I went an entire week without walking into a wall, stubbing a toe or tripping over something that was sitting in plain sight. I suppose it’s weird that when the sparring gloves come on, I’m poetry in motion. But everyday activities make me look like a drunk rodeo clown.
One of the worst problems with injuries is you can often be faced with one that’s bad enough to require some attention but NOT bad enough to require a hospital visit. Or even if it requires a hospital visit, your injury and your mental state may be worsened by the impending wait you’ll face at the hospital. Because I can promise you that unless your skull is wide open and bleeding or you’re having a heart attack, your expected wait time at the ER in Canada can be hours.
For example, Nathan fell down the stairs about two years ago. He had a bruised eyes, a swollen lump at the front of his skull and a bleeding cut. Since he was only three years old and we were dealing with a fall down some stairs, we bundled him up into the car and rushed to the emergency room. We waited for almost four hours before we finally threw in the towel and came home and treated the injuries ourselves. And THAT involved a toddler falling down the stairs. Don’t panic, his energy levels were off the charts and we got him examined at a later time.
This is just one example of why it’s important to keep a properly stocked first aid kit in your home. Although you don’t want to absolutely spend a fortune on your kit (it’s all made of the same stuff at the end of the day), you may not want to skimp on the supplies either. You can usually find decent supplies at most retail outlets, especially if you live in a larger town. If you’re lucky and you have one of the bigger dollar stores, you can even find some decent first aid supplies there.
You can take the lazy route and buy a pre-packed kit. These are usually pretty basic and contain the general items needed to deal with an immediate injury until a medical professional or first responder reaches you. You can, however, put together your own kit. This allows you the option of customizing your kit with preferred items and/or items that may not be included in pre-packed kits. You just need to remember to replace and replenish items that may have been used or expired.
In my line of work, I usually recommended three basic items that HAD to be in a first aid kit: protective gloves, bandages/gauze and a one-way CPR mask. With those three items, you should be able to lend basic first aid to someone with minor to moderate injuries until first responders can reach you. Anything else in your kit is simply icing on the cake. A good pair of angled scissors are a good idea, in case you have to cut away clothing to access a wound or injury.
If you do buy a pre-packed kit, make sure you know what’s inside it before you purchase. For example, you can buy a small 3″ x 3″ plastic first aid case that will contain bandages, band-aids and tape for a little over $5. That’s about as basic as it gets. Or you can splurge on kits that have several hundred items and cost well over $100. It all depends on what you want to have available.
Personally, I have a solid kit that I purchased at my local retail outlet for about $20 and it contains a little over 100 items. I keep it in our cold room with our non-perishable food and supplies. I also took the liberty of purchasing added gauze and bandages, since the kit was in short supply. A small bottle of disinfecting agent is also a good idea, since most kits won’t contain any. I keep a smaller first aid kit, both in my personal car and the family SUV.
You can check out a composite list on the Canadian Red Cross website at https://www.redcross.ca/training-and-certification/first-aid-tips-and-resources/first-aid-tips/kit-contents?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxo_AxpG56AIV5f7jBx05kQwLEAAYASAAEgLfLPD_BwE
This webpage also provides a composite list for an emergency supplies list, which may not necessarily be first aid related, as well as an emergency car kit in case you become stranded or involved in a collision. It stands to reason that if you have the ability to be trained in basic first aid, you should also do so.
A good first aid kit can be extremely helpful in most environments. Since people with Diabetes have difficulties healing open wounds and are prone to infection, being able to treat injuries quickly and efficiently can mean the difference between a well-healed wound or getting your foot amputated. I’m being mildly dramatic (yes, mildly) but you get my point. ☯