Accidents come unannounced; sometimes it is due to a lapse of judgement on your part and sometimes it is the product of someone else’s carelessness. But one must be prepared for it at all times. Your response to the accident can make the difference between saving a life and losing one. Having a well-stocked first aid kit to deal with emergencies is a good place to start with accident preparedness.
Why Should You Have a First Aid Kit in Your Car?
A proper first aid can buy some time for the injured person before his or her condition worsens, or can even save someone from death. You should have a first aid kit in your car because –
- Quick and timely assistance before proper medical help arrives at the scene of the accident or medical emergency.
- It will help one treat minor injuries such as small cuts and bruises which need not be looked into by a trained medical professional.
- Peace of mind for one is aware that there is a good plan in place in case of any contingency. It reduces the chaos that ensues in case of an emergency.
- Offering timely medical assistance can help reduce casualties to a great extent.
However, it is important to understand that first aid is not a substitute for professional medical help and merely complements those efforts in protecting one’s life. As a potential first responder, one must be well equipped with enough knowledge to provide basic medical assistance in various circumstances.
What are the First Aid Essentials?
One may resort to purchase of a packaged first aid kit or assembly of the kit themselves. The important thing is that the kit must be arranged properly, with all the essentials placed in a compact manner. The kit must also be placed in a cool, dry place where it can be easily accessed.
The essentials that must be available as a ready stock in your kit is as follows –
- Hand sanitizer
- Cotton balls
- Safety pin
- Antiseptic cream
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antihistamine for allergic reactions
- Antiseptic wet wipes
- Pain-relief spray
- Pain-relief medication
- Necessary medication
- Saline solution for eye washing or cleaning wounds
- Water bottle
- Paper towels
- Disposable gloves
It is also important to have an easy-to-follow instruction manual to walk you through emergency situations such as how to give CPR, how to treat a wound, etc. do have the contact details of emergency services such as an ambulance and clinic stored in your mobile phone and also, as a small card in the medical kit.
The manner in which the first aid essentials can be stored is – as a pouch or box. A waterproof pouch or bag is also a good idea. In case, you wish to organise the kit properly, then use a toolbox or art supply box with compartments to store the essentials.
Who Should Definitely Carry a First Aid Kit?
The presence of a well-equipped first aid kit becomes all the more necessary under certain circumstances. The following persons must not fail to carry the kit –
- An individual has a pre-existing medical condition or his or her family members have a medical condition. For example, an asthmatic patient must have a medical inhaler in his or her medical kit. Also ensure that there is a note that lists out the medical condition of the passenger or driver and immediate treatment or response that one must give in the kit, so that any person who wishes to help from outside can do so quickly, saving precious time.
- An individual who is undertaking a long journey to the outskirts of the city or out of station must carry all the essentials as the chance of receiving timely medical care might be less.
- An individual who has an infant or a young child must ensure that all the medical requirements are also fulfilled. Carry pain relievers, Benadryl, small bandages, baby wipes, etc. It is also important to prepare one’s child for such medical emergencies and teach them some basic first aid techniques. There is no saying when these might come in handy.
Carrying a first aid kit is less of an option and more of an indispensable necessity. Do ensure that you replenish the stock of essentials present in the kit and ensure that the medicines have not passed the expiry date. Having a comprehensive car insurance policy is also a good idea to cater to financial liabilities incurred during the emergency.