|More than 40,000 people are killed on the roads in the US each year, with thousands of accidents every day. Carrying simple first aid equipment in your car can help to protect you at the scene of an accident and provide you with the tools to carry out necessary first aid procedures. In addition, a well-stocked first aid kit can provide many items needed to ensure comfort on long journeys.
Many people are injured while helping at the scene of a road accident. If you stop to help, make sure that you are clearly visible to oncoming traffic. Use your car as a warning signal and consider carrying a combination of the following equipment:
- Hazard warning triangle
- High visibility jacket or strap
KEEPING THE INJURED PERSON WARM
There may be little that you can do for many seriously injured victims other than treat for shock. Keeping the person warm is an important part of this treatment and can be potentially life-saving. Carry at least one blanket in your car. In addition to its value in treating shock, it can also be used as padding for broken bones or to keep family members warm if your car breaks down in freezing conditions.
Space is often in short supply in the boot of a car so a first aid kit should be kept to the minimum. The following provides a basic guide for a car first aid kit:
- 4 assorted sterile dressings: small, medium, and large
- 2 triangular bandages
- Adhesive bandages or non-adhesive dressings and hypoallergenic tape
- Gloves and face shield
- Notepad and pen
In addition to carrying equipment for major emergencies, you may wish to include useful items for family travels.
- Emesis bags
- Moist towelettes or baby wipes
- Alcohol wipes (when water is not available)
- Cold pads (these are cold compress ice packs made from chemicals that get cold when you break the seal)
- Over-the-counter remedies such as acetaminophen for common ailments
STORING YOUR FIRST AID KIT
If storing your first aid kit in the main part of the car, ensure that it is either made of a soft material or that it is firmly bolted down to prevent it becoming a dangerous missile if the car stops suddenly. The container should be waterproof and clearly labeled.
ON A BOAT
The guidance for cars applies equally well to boats. IN addition, boat first aid kits may include:
- Strong pliers for cutting away fish hooks
- Treatments for common marine animal bites and stings
- Sun cream and relief for sunburn
- Medication for crew members