Emergency Prep: First Aid: Bleeding

Today seems like a good day to learn some more first aid, dontcha think? I say it’s always a good day to learn how to save a life. 🙂
So today let’s talk about bleeding. And more specifically, how to STOP (or control) bleeding. (And again, a large portion of this information comes from our wonderful friends at The Survival Center, so a big thank you to them for their helpful site.)

Major bleeding can be a serious and life-threatening condition and, depending upon the severity, may require immediate medical attention. Bleeding can come from three different sources: an artery, a vein, or a capillary.

Arterial bleeding is the most serious type of bleeding. It is characterized by spurts of blood with each beat of the heart. It is bright red in color and is usually severe and hard to control. This requires IMMEDIATE ATTENTION!
Venus bleeding is a more steady flow of darker blood and is more easy to control.
Capillary bleeding is usually slow and oozing. It generally has a higher risk of infection than the other types.

First Aid should be given for bleeding in order to: 1) Stop the bleeding, 2) Prevent infection, and 3) Prevent shock.

FIRST AID FOR BLEEDING

To control bleeding:

  1. Apply DIRECT PRESSURE to the wound. Use a dressing (such as a gauze pad) if available. If a dressing is not available, use a rag, towel, piece of clothing, or even just your hand*. Once you have applied pressure, KEEP IT IN PLACE. Even if the dressing becomes soaked with blood, apply a new dressing on top of the original one. Do not remove the original dressing. The less a wound is disturbed, the easier it will be to stop the bleeding.
  2. If the bleeding continues and you do not suspect a fracture, ELEVATE the wound above the level of the heart and continue to apply direct pressure.
  3. If the wound still continues to bleed, apply PRESSURE AT A PRESSURE POINT. Wounds on the arms or hands can use pressure points at the wrist (radial artery- where you would check your pulse) or on the inside of the upper arm (brachial artery- just down from the armpit). Wounds on the legs can use pressure points at the crease in the groin (femoral artery- where the leg and pelvis meet) or at the back of the knee (popliteal artery). Note that you should still continue to apply direct pressure and elevate the wound while performing this step.
  4. The last thing to do is to apply a PRESSURE BANDAGE over the wound. This is something such as a roll of gauze that is used to hold a dressing in place. Pressure should be used in applying the bandage, however after applying the bandage, be sure to check the pulse to make sure that the circulation is not interrupted. A slow pulse rate, or bluish fingertips or toes, indicate that the bandage may be impeding circulation.
  5. Use a tourniquet (for arm or leg wounds) ONLY AS A LAST RESORT if bleeding cannot be stopped any other way and the situation is life-threatening. There is a significant amount of risk associated with using tourniquets. If not applied correctly (too loosely), a tourniquet can actually make the bleeding worse. On the flip side, a properly applied tourniquet will effectively stop bleeding from an extremity because it stops circulation to the affected limb but this also means that if the tourniquet is left in place too long it may lead to tissue damage due to lack of oxygen. (Note: a tourniquet should ONLY be removed by a rescuer with training.) However, when faced with a worst case scenario, the potential for a loss of limb is outweighed by the loss of life. For a tutorial on how to make a tourniquet, click HERE.

*Remember that when faced with the need to control major bleeding, it is not important that the dressings you use are sterile. Use whatever you have at hand and work fast!

Other helpful things to know:

  • Have the injured person lie down (if not already doing so). This helps with elevating the wounded site.
  • Remove any visible objects in the wound that are easy to remove.
  • Remove or cut clothing and any jewelry from around the wound. If the wound swells, tight jewelry could affect the blood flow.
  • Apply pressure and elevate the wound for at least 15 minutes (use a clock, if available).

And just a reminder: This information is for tutorial purposes only and does not replace the need for actual first aid training. I still have my goal for this year to become CPR/First Aid certified and I hope you’re working toward that too. Take care and be safe!

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Emergency Preparedness: First Aid: First Priorities

Alright. Well now that we’ve done our first aid kits, let’s see if we can learn how to actually offer aid in an emergency situation. But first a DISCLAIMER, and an INTRODUCTION:

Disclaimer: Under no condition will I be held responsible for any consequences of use of this information. This information is meant as a tutorial, or study aid, and is NOT a first aid manual.
Introduction and Word of Advice: The First Aid information presented in this post and following first aid posts largely comes from a wonderful and helpful site called Survival Center. The information has been provided by someone who is a Certified First Aid Instructor with many years experience teaching first aid, CPR, and basic life support courses. That being said, this information is NOT meant to be a substitute for formalized first aid training. It is strongly recommended that if you are interested in learning first aid, you look into first aid and CPR courses offered through community groups and organizations.
Also, since the use of first aid skills is only needed from time to time, it is a good idea to review this content on a regular basis so that you don’t forget the valuable information.
And a big thank you to Captain Dave and Remo P.J. Tilanus for sharing this information with the rest of us!

Alright, and now that we’ve got the legal jargon said and done, let’s learn the first aspect of first aid, and that is understanding the Order of Treatment Priorities. The following information comes directly from the Survival Center:

Order of Priority in an Emergency

In EVERY emergency situation, there is a logical order to be followed. First, it is important to carefully assess the scene of an emergency BEFORE any further steps are taken. The purpose of this assessment is to assure it is safe to provide first aid care. For example, an unconscious victim might be lying on a livepower line. If a rescuer were to touch the victim before the power could be shut off, the rescuer would become a victim as well! Always be sure it is safe before you attempt to help a victim!

Once you determine it is safe for you to help a victim, you should immediately determine if the victim has any life threatening conditions.

Begin by checking to see if the victim is responsive. Kneel and ask, ” ARE YOU OK?” If there is no response, you must immediately summon an ambulance! Recent studies have conclusively shown that victims who are not breathing and do not have a heartbeat have a substantially greater chance for survival if they receive prompt advanced medical care in a hospital or by trained paramedics.

Only after a call is placed for emergency medical services does a volunteer attempt to further help an unconscious victim.

If there are bystanders on the scene, summon someone to your side to provide assistance.

If the victim is on his stomach, first place the victim’s arm closest to you above his head. Then turn him over by placing one hand on the victim’s hip and the other hand at the victim’s shoulder. Turn the body in a smooth, even straight line so as to not cause further injury in the event of existing spinal cord injury.

With the victim now on his back, OPEN THE VICTIM’S AIRWAY by placing the heel of your hand on the victim’s forehead and the tips of your fingers under the bony part of the jaw.

Push down on the forehead while lifting up the chin until the jaw is pointing straight up. Now place your ear over the victim’s mouth and LOOK, LISTEN & FEEL for breathing for 3 to 5 seconds. LOOK at the chest to see if it is rising, LISTEN for sounds of breathing and FEEL for air coming from the victim.

IF THE VICTIM IS NOT BREATHING, RESCUE BREATHING IS REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY!

IMPORTANT
WHILE THIS TUTORIAL IDENTIFIES LIFE THREATENING CONDITIONS REQUIRING RESCUE BREATHING OR CPR, THESE SKILLS REQUIRE INTENSIVE CLASSROOM SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND PRACTICE AND CANNOT BE EFFECTIVELY PRESENTED OR TAUGHT IN THIS TUTORIAL. THE AUTHOR STRONGLY ENCOURAGES EVERYONE TO ENROLL IN A CPR COURSE

Rescue breathing will provide vital oxygen to a victim who cannot breath on their own. After giving a victim two breaths, the pulse is checked at the Carotid Artery to ascertain if the victim has a heartbeat. This artery is located on the side of the neck and is found by first positioning the fingers on the victim’s Adam’s Apple, then sliding the fingers down into the soft groove on the side of the neck. The pulse is checked for 5 to 10 seconds.

If the victim has a heartbeat, but is not breathing, RESCUE BREATHING is required. If the victim is NOT breathing AND does NOT have a HEARTBEAT, CPR is required without delay!

These initial steps of checking the AIRWAY, BREATHING and CIRCULATION (pulse), together with a check for major BLEEDING, constitute THE PRIMARY SURVEY, which looks for life-threatening conditions!

In every instance where first aid is to be provided, it is important to always ask a conscious victim for permission to help them. If a victim is unconscious, it is presumed they have provided consent for you to assist them.

***

Okay! So hopefully that is helpful! Here are a few videos for you to watch as well to get a better idea of how this all works:

Please do not forget that this information does NOT replace formal training and does NOT make you certified in first aid. It is simply provided in the hopes that you can make an emergency situation better instead of worse.
I am making it a goal of mine for this year to get CPR trained. Feel free to join me in the goal! I’ll be sure to report back on how it goes. 🙂
Best Wishes!

Emergency Preparedness: Working On My Car Kits

Hey all. Today I’ve been working on finishing up my First Aid Car Kits. The kit containers have been just sitting in my room since… well, the last time I posted on first aid kits, and they’ve just been taunting me. ‘Finish me. I DARE you. You’re too chicken. You don’t have what it takes. You’ll never be on top of all of this preparedness stuff.’ It was time to shut them up. 😀

So I pulled out all the first aid stuff I’d purchased a while back (note: my Master Kit was already done- or at least as “done” as it’s going to be for a while- but I pulled it out just for referencing… hence it is in the pictures as well) and just started filling up the car kits.

I divided the supplies pretty equally between Hubby’s kit and mine, but certain things were more applicable to certain kits. For example, I put children’s medicines in my kit but not in Hubby’s because the kids are almost always in my car, but I put Tums in Hubby’s kit and not mine because he’s more likely to need that while out and about versus me who is usually at home. So I did a little customization of the car kits based on the needs of who is usually in each vehicle.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with them at this point. Eventually I would like to add additional items (like instant ice packs, more medicines, etc) to bring them up to a more complete intermediate level, but they will do for now. It’s a good starting point.
So anyway, I hope your kits haven’t gotten the better of you yet. My kits have officially had their mouths shut and the taunting has ceased. I think I’ll go treat myself to a cookie. 😀

Emergency Preparedness- Updating 72 hour kits

Hey all! I know we just talked recently about assembling our 72 hour kits, and so if you were just starting your kits at that time, you probably aren’t needing to go through and update yet. However, for me, I try to do my updating at General Conference time (it makes it easier for me to remember when I need to update), and seeing as we just had Conference… it was time for me to update. Okay. The point of all this rambling is that as I was updating my kits this past week, I thought of a couple things… some tips or things to consider… that I wanted to share with you.

Most of these tips are related to keeping a kit in your car (which I do), but some are just all around suggestions. So here we go:

  • Personal Documents: Under the ‘personal documents’ section of the 72 Hour Kit Checklist, there are certain items you do NOT want to keep in your car kit, such as the car title, account numbers, or other sensitive personal information. The reason for this is that if your car (or the kit) were to be stolen, that important information would be in the hands of a thief. So choose wisely which ones you put in here and only keep copies of documents in there that cannot be used against you if put in the hands of the wrong person. (And never keep the originals in your kits.) I also like to write “copy” on my copied documents so that no one would mistake it as an original.
  • Food: If you live in a place where it gets really hot, certain foods will not keep well in your car kit (since the car can be like an oven in the heat!). All of my dried apricots turned black (I didn’t even bother opening that up to smell them… it was just disgusting), the dried apples didn’t look much better (so we’ll keep dried fruits limited to our ‘home’ kit which is kept in the house), the beef jerky sticks were hard as rocks (we’re trying beef jerky strips this time), and the canned juice now gives me a stomach ache (I’m trying capri-suns this time around). Hubby has banned me from putting graham crackers in his kit now since his end up in tiny crumbs each time. (This, however, is because he smashes his kit all over the place under his car seats.) My graham crackers survived just fine and are making a reappearance this time around. Granola bars also faired well. Werther’s candies are one of the few candies that have survived the heat without much problem (anything chocolate is obviously a no-go, and even some hard candies like Jolly Ranchers melted a bit and got ultra sticky. Gummy bears are just fun. If you want an experiment in what melted candy looks like, stick gummy bears in your car kit. 🙂 They are surprisingly still edible, albeit melted together into one large mass. :)). Our canned goods all held up just fine and were non-toxic when we ate them. 🙂 Our freeze-dried meals were also perfectly fine. And I think that about does it for the food.
  • Personal Supplies & Medicines: Again related to if you live in a place where it gets really hot, deodorant will kind of start to dissolve (which makes a mess) in the heat, so I just keep that in our ‘home’ kit now. And if you keep a first aid kit in your car, don’t worry about putting medicines in your 72-hour car kits. There’s no point in doubling up (especially since those are ‘in case of emergency’ anyway). Just stick any medicines you would traditionally keep in your 72-hour kit into your first aid kit instead.
  • General Tips: Make Ziploc baggies your friend. Anything that has the potential to leak, spill, or ooze… stick it in a baggie. If you want to keep certain things grouped together, stick them in a baggie. Anything you want to keep protected (i.e. your documents), stick them in a baggie. Remember: Baggies are our friends. 🙂

Well, I think that was about all of it. The only other frustration I had was that as I was trying to gather all of the documents I needed to make copies of (insurance policies that have changed, personal documents that were out of date, etc), I was getting really tired of trying to hunt down all that information. Then I came across this idea for a Vital Records Binder and loved it. So guess what we’re going to start building?! 🙂 Every now and then (maybe once a month or so) starting tomorrow, I’ll do a Feature Friday that will start building our very own Important Papers Binder (you can call it Vital Records if you want… but that just reminded me too much of a hospital). 🙂 So I’ll see you tomorrow for a fun new project! Yeehaw!

Feature Friday: How Prepared Are You?

Hey y’all! Guess what? This month (September) is National Preparedness Month! So keeping in the spirit of things, I thought it would be fun to take a little preparedness quiz to see just how ready we are for different emergency scenarios and find any areas that are needing improvement. 🙂 Ready? Here we go…

1. If the power went out during the evening, I would:
__ A. Sit in the dark, waiting for the power to come back.
__ B. Light candles.
__ C. Search the kitchen drawers for flashlight batteries; they’ve got to be in there somewhere.
__ D. Know exactly where to find flashlights, battery-powered lanterns and fresh batteries. Additionally, I have a supply of candles and matches for longer-term lighting needs, along with an oil lantern and a supply of oil!

2. If our home were without water for a day or two, we would:
__ A. Drink soda or juice and wash up at school or the office.
__ B. Visit relatives or friends where we could take showers and use the bathroom.
__ C. Check the bottled water on the basement shelf and try to remember how old it is.
__ D. Drink and wash from a supply of bottled water that we replace every few months.

3. Our important papers and records are:
__ A. Misplaced; we have no idea where they are.
__ B. Scattered in various locations throughout the house.
__ C. Filed in the home office.
__ D. Secured in a water and fireproof box and there are copies kept in our emergency kits.

4. We’ve made the following arrangements for our pets:
__ A. We have no plans. Why do we need a plan for them? They go wherever we go.
__ B. We’d leave them at home with plenty of food and water.
__ C. We’d take them with us, hoping we could find a shelter or hotel that will accept pets.
__ D. We’ve made plans with family, friends and our vet to take them at a moment’s notice.

5. In case of emergency, our children know:
__ A. To trust us to take care of them. We don’t want them disturbed by thinking about the bad things that can happen.
__ B. How to call 911 and how to call us.
__ C. That a list of emergency contacts is posted on the refrigerator.
__ D. Our family disaster plan, which includes someone to call if we’re separated, meeting places and a home escape route.

6. During an emergency, I would depend on the following for information:
__ A. My neighbors.
__ B. The television.
__ C. The Internet.
__ D. A battery-powered radio, and I know which station emergencies are broadcast on.

7. If I suddenly had to evacuate my home for five days, I would:
__ A. Hang out at the mall and wait to hear how long before we could return.
__ B. Throw some clothes and necessities in a suitcase and take an impromptu vacation.
__ C. Leave; then coordinate with family members or friends about what to do.
__ D. Grab my emergency kit and follow the steps in our family preparedness plan.

8. My emergency kit is:
__ A. We don’t have one.
__ B. A drawer with flashlights and batteries, bottled water in the basement and a first-aid kit in the bathroom.
__ C. A bin with flashlights and batteries, bottled water, canned foods and a first-aid kit.
__ D. Water to last three days, a battery-powered radio and flashlights with extra batteries; canned foods; a first-aid kit; extra medications; all kept in a portable “go” kit in an easy to access location and/or kept in the car.

9. If local authorities told me to evacuate, I would:
__ A. Refuse to leave. Most “emergencies” don’t turn out to be a big deal.
__ B. Wait to see if the situation worsened, then decide.
__ C. Wait for word from the Governor; he’s the only one who can order an evacuation.
__ D. Follow the advice of local responders to ensure my safety and thiers.

10. I’ve made the following plans for my elderly parents:
__ A. Nothing specific. The authorities will take care of them.
__ B. I would call them and together we’d decide what to do as the situation unfolds.
__ C. We’ve agreed that they would call the nearest relative to come and get them.
__ D. I’ve helped them assemble their own emergency kit, and we have an extended family plan for relocating them if they need to leave.

(Quiz adapted from Baltimore, MD County website)

Okay! So how did you do?
In case you couldn’t tell, “D” is the best answer to all of  these questions. If you answered “D,” you are as prepared as you can reasonably be.
If you answered “C” to most questions, you’re on the right track, but still not prepared enough. If you answer “A” or “B” to most questions, you and your family could be in a world of hurt if an emergency occurs.

So what are the areas that could use a little work? Take the opportunity this month to get you and your family better prepared. Hey… everybody’s doin’ it! 🙂

Here are some other preparedness quizes you can take, just for the fun of it… and while you’re at it, have a safe and fun weekend! 😀

Emergency Preparedness: First-Aid Kit Contents

Alright. Do we all have our first aid kit containers? Good! Well next we need to fill them.
There are SO many options to choose from when stocking a first aid kit. You can just stand in a medicine aisle at the store to realize the plethora of options available. So, what to choose? Is it all important? Yes and no. Obviously everything has a time and a place. Here’s my suggestion. When you first start to fill your kit, start basic and then work your way up to an ultimate first-aid kit. You don’t have to have the whole ‘medicine aisle’ in your kit right at the start, but it doesn’t hurt to add more and more as you have the money and first-aid know-how.

So to help with this process, I’m going to list contents for  first-aid kits in three categories: Basic, Intermediate, and Ultimate. If you’re just getting started with your first-aid, start with the basic kit and then add from there. (You can download a printable checklist version below.)

Note: For some items I will list the generic name for items and then list an example brand name because sometimes I have no idea what the generic name means, but a brand name clears that confusion up for me. But I am not promoting any specific brands… only trying to help clarify. So here we go…

Basic First Aid Kit Contents:

  • adhesive bandages in assorted sizes (Band-aids)
  • alcohol wipes/towlettes
  • gauze pads (2×2 and 4×4)
  • medical adhesive tape
  • butterfly bandages
  • antibiotic cream (Neosporin… and I like the kind with pain relief as well)
  • aspirin (Bayer) (NEVER give aspirin to a child)
  • ibuprofin (Motrin or Advil)
  • acetominophen (Tylenol)
  • tweezers (for removing splinters and the like)
  • instant ice packs
  • disposable latex or vinyl gloves (always use when working on an open wound)
  • pad of paper and a pen

Intermediate First Aid Kit Contents includes all of the above, plus:

  • anti-diarrhea medication (Pepto Bismol)
  • anti-itch/steroid cream (for poison ivy, bug bites, rashes, etc.)
  • anti-histamine (allergy relief/ medicine for allergic reactions) (Benedryl)
  • antacid (Tums)
  • aloe vera gel
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • lip ointment (Carmex, Blistex, or another good lip balm)
  • eye drops (Visine)
  • eye wash/saline solution
  • hand sanitizer gel
  • petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
  • larger adhesive bandages
  • elastic bandages for strains and sprains (Ace)
  • tongue depressor
  • finger splint
  • wrapping gauze (for wrapping around larger wounds)
  • adhesive tape (like athletic tape) (for securing gauze as well as stabilizing an injury with a splint)
  • self-adhering wrapping gauze
  • moleskin
  • safety pins
  • rubber bands
  • nail clippers
  • small scissors (for cutting adhesive tape or clothing)
  • safety scissors (with rounded tip) for cutting items off of injured person
  • thermometer
  • snake bite poison extractor
  • resealable bags, various sizes (to put dirty/bloody items in, or items you don’t want to lose, i.e. a knocked out tooth, etc.) (i.e. Ziploc)
  • permanent marker
  • basic first aid instruction book

Ultimate First Aid Kit Contents include all of the above, plus:

  • rubbing alcohol
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • antiseptic wound wash (Band-aid Hurt Free or Betadine)
  • decongestant pills and/or spray
  • cold & flu medications
  • smelling salts
  • syrup of Ipecac
  • activated charcoal (for poisoning emergencies–use only if instructed by your poison control center)
  • mouth-to-mouth/CPR shield
  • breathing/dust mask
  • eye goggles
  • cotton balls
  • cotton swabs (Q-tips)
  • turkey baster or other bulb suction device for flushing out wounds
  • triangular bandages/arm sling
  • splint materials (like SAM splint)
  • eye pad/patch
  • instant hot packs
  • burn cream/treatments (for more serious burns)
  • blood clotting spray
  • forceps
  • scalpels
  • hemostats
  • sterile sutures, in several sizes
  • dental tools
  • dental floss
  • save-a-tooth storage device
  • clean string
  • small flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • space blanket
  • matches
  • hard candy (to provide sugar for diabetics)
  • in depth first aid/surgical guide

Download Printable Version
Alrightythen! Did this list just give anyone a heart attack? I hope you know CPR! 😀 Okay, well just remember… one step at a time. Start Basic. Then gradually build up to the Intermediate level. And then move on to your Ultimate First Aid Kit. It’s not as bad as you think. You probably have a lot of this stuff already lying around your house. Just gather it together so you’ve got a kit ready for any emergency.

Some other points to remember and good ideas to consider:

  • Check your kit every 6 months to 1 year to change out any expired medications and restock any items that have been used and not yet been replaced.
  • If you have children or people with special needs/medical conditions, add any extra items that are appropriate to your situation.
  • Make sure everything is properly labeled.
  • Keep an inventory of everything that is in your kit and keep it inside your kit so you can take a quick glance at your list and know if you do or do not have a certain item.
  • You may want to have a medical consent form and a medical history form for each member of your family and keep it with your kit.
  • It’s also a good idea to keep a list of emergency phone numbers with your kit, including: family doctor and pediatrician, local emergency services, emergency road service providers, and the regional poison control center
  • Recommended locations to keep a first aid kit: Home (Ultimate); Car (Intermediate); Boat (Intermediate); 72-Hour Kit Grab Bags (at least Basic); Purse (Basic)
  • And finally, if you have any old cell phones, do not throw them away. Instead, charge the phone up, turn it off, and stick it in your first aid kit. Even if your phone is no longer connected to a service plan, it can still dial 9-1-1 and reach the local authorities! This would be especially helpful in a car kit or boat… someplace where you may not have ready access to a landline.

Please remember, having a fully stocked first aid kit does not make you an expert in first aid. You should not perform first aid on someone if you do not know what you are doing. Not only could you make the problem worse, but you could be sued for performing any aid above the level you are certified (sad, but true). That being said, let’s not have ignorance as an excuse. Let’s learn some first aid! We’ll start tackling basic first aid techniques in the upcoming months. If there is anything specific you would like to learn, just let me know. However, if you REALLY want to be proficient at it (not to mention certified), I would recommend taking a first aid class. Until then, healthy wishes to you all!

Emergency Preparedness: First Aid Kits

Having a well stocked first aid kit is a key element to successful emergency preparedness. You should keep a first aid kit in your home and in your car(s) so that you can be prepared wherever you go.
First aid kits come in many shapes and sizes and you can purchase them or make your own. I prefer to make my own because I like to customize what goes into it. Thus far in my preparedness efforts I’ve been using a first-aid kit that I put together in college for one of my athletic training classes. But it’s tailored more towards athletes (go figure) and I’ve been wanting to get a fully loaded family first aid kit for a while now. So why don’t we do this together? 🙂 (Tip: If you can find two or three other people (or a big group!) to do this project with you, you can purchase products in bulk and split the costs. It’s more cost effective that way.)

First let me explain why it’s important to have a first aid kit. Obviously you want to be able to take care of any cuts and bruises that take place in your home–keep them clean and well-cared for so they don’t get infected and turn into problems. But minor issues aside, in the event of a widespread, large-scale emergency, you can bet that good medical care and medical supplies will be hard to access. It is for this reason that I recommend not only having a well-stocked first-aid kit, but that you be knowledgable in how to perform emergency care. But we’ll get into emergency care/first aid later. First lets get our kits put together! I’ll break this into two parts so that we don’t overwhelm ourselves on the first day. First we’ll talk about what types of containers to use for our kits, and next week we’ll learn about what to put in our first-aid kit. So let’s get going…

Two of the main keys to a good kit are functionality and organization. If you can’t find what you need when you need it, your kit will end up being more of a frustration than a help. So the first thing we need is a good container for our kit. It can be as simple as a plastic resealable baggie to an elaborate organization box. Whatever you choose, make sure your container fits the needs of the kit. A plastic baggie could be good for a small kit such as one you’d keep in your purse, but you wouldn’t want to use it for your home kit since it wouldn’t be very organized nor sturdy. For a home and car kit, I like to use tackle or tool boxes because they’re sturdy and  have lots of little compartments for lots of little things. Backpacks or small duffel bags would also work as long as you have a way to organize them inside.
My athletic trainer kit was a simple plastic toolbox from Wal-mart (similar to the red one in the picture above). That one is going to become my car kit and I have now purchased a LARGE tackle box to use for my new ultimate first aid kit. (It’s the bottom two examples in the picture above.) What I really like about it (and trust me… I debated and evaluated many different kinds–just ask Hubby!) is that it has a large main compartment for larger pieces of equipment (like Hubby’s stethoscope and blood pressure cuff, and other bigger items), and then what really sold me is the plastic boxes that stack up on bottom. Many different tackle boxes had this style, but this was the only one I found that had a large (tall and deep) plastic box in addition to the thinner boxes. The thinner boxes all have small spaces for  storing things, which is fine for a lot of the first aid stuff, but I was also needing some more larger spaces for things like Ace bandages, medical tape, etc. which is what the deep box has. Anyway, the point is that it fit my needs perfectly and so I got it (perhaps a bit hastily, since I just found it online today for about $25 less than where I got it… but I have it nonetheless!) 🙂 If any of you are interested in it, the brand is Flambeau and you can find it HERE (for the $25 less price).

So anyway, our goal this week is to get a kit container that will meet your family’s needs. (Remember that you do not have to purchase this. You may already have something around your house that would work!) But my recommendation is that, even if you have no supplies at all yet, you go ahead and choose a container that will suit your ultimate needs so that a year down the road you don’t have to get a new kit when you run out of room in your smaller one. And if you’ve already got your home kit well-stocked, get a container for each of your cars. Either way, let’s get ready to start stocking!
See ya next week! 🙂