The first thing any first responder, scout, lifeguard, anyone that has some amount of First Aid training will tell you about an Everyday Carry First Aid Kit is that you MUST learn the skills or the tools will do you no good.
Now, there are a lot of fantastic references online to get you the basic First Aid skills you would need in an emergency.
Red Cross is the standard for First Aid training and they have some great free resources to get you started. But nothing can replace solid training and practicing your skills with a skilled instructor.
In a week we will be releasing our Science of Skill Emergency First Aid Course to our SoS Academy. Keep your eyes peeled!
The EDC First Aid Kit
There are a few staples to the EDC First Aid Kit that you will want to make sure you cover anytime you leave the house (and yes, that means to go to the backyard as well).
Make sure that you always have the basics to cover
- Allergic Reactions
- Any Pre-Existing Conditions you know of
Keep in mind, when you are trying to hep others, you have to protect yourself as best you can as well. You will do no good if you get injured or an infection yourself by treating someone else.
Creating barriers between you and another person is a MUST when it comes to precautions – even if you have known this person your entire life.
Rubber gloves are compact, easy to carry, and relatively inexpensive. Any First Aid kit, large or small, should have at least 1 pair of glove that fit you or anyone else that you would regularly allow to use the kit. That means if you and your wife both regularly carry this kit, there should be at least 2 pair of gloves in there – 1 for each of you.
I always recommend non-latex gloves as there are so many with latex allergies out there now. Better safe than sorry.
There are a lot of options when it comes to bandages – the simplest is, of course, band-aids. Some of the most versatile, easy to use, and cheapest solutions out there. It is always a good idea to have a healthy stash of band-aids around (especially if you have kids around).
Gauze and tape give you a great deal of options when it comes to bandaging wounds. A variety of sizes are available and gauze is hands-down the cheapest solution you can purchase. Depending upon the severity of the wound, gauze is easily layered to prevent rapid bleeding.
Gauze is also available with QuickClot to help larger would clot faster.
The Tourniquet is hands down the last line of defense in stopping a bleed. It is also undeniable that they can save lives. It isn’t difficult to fashion one from a belt or strap if made of a material that doesn’t have much stretch. But a tourniquet kit is your best option as they are constructed to make application as easy as possible. Plus – it also means you are 100% aware of the condition and how to use the tourniquet – which will make the application far more reliable and effective.
As mentioned earlier, protecting yourself from contamination with rubber gloves is crucial in keeping yourself protected and healthy. But creating barriers for a victim from infections is also just as important. This means that you need to consider internal and external factors that could cause infection.
There are a variety of sanitizers on the market today that can be useful in preventing infection. Starting with everyday hand sanitizer – cheap, readily available, and packaged in convenient ready-to-go packages, often with a small hook or case to carry in your bag, purse, or pocket. While this is not the be all of fighting infections, it is great for prevention and better than nothing in the case of a wound as it is alcohol based (so it’s going to sting like a …… if applied to wound – so that could be a good or bad depending on how big of a pain the victim is being).
Sterile Wipes, Iodine Pads, and Alcohol pads are excellent and convenient choices as well. Easy to pack and carry, they fit into any kit or bag easily and cost next to nothing to purchase in bulk. There is no excuse to not have these in your kit and readily available at all times.
Dressing a wound is crucial in keeping environmental hazards clear of a wound. Clean clothes like towels, shirts, anything that makes a soft, flexible barrier from dirt and contaminants is an excellent choice. While something is always better than nothing, being prepared with some lightweight towels or clothes available in your kit gives you the added benefit of know that they are clean and sterile. In addition, the packaging can be used to store anything that may be covered in blood or other materials that you may need to keep to present to a medical professional to help treat the victim.
We will continue on items for your EDC First Aid Kit in the next installment, but to wrap this section up, one final tool I keep in my kits is a respiration mask.
Growing up, I was a lifeguard for many summers and certain things never leave you. A respiration mask is a great investment – giving you one more barrier in case you need to perform mouth-to-mouth. Of the items listed so far, this may be the most expensive, it can also be one of the most life saving devices as they can easily be attached to oxygen when first responders arrive on the scene.