Whether you’re traveling close to home or journeying around the world, accidents can happen in the blink of any eye, so it’s important to have access to a well stocked first aid kit. But instead of filling a box with everything under the sun, and carrying round a suitcase of products, it’s worth taking some time to consider what’s important to include.
Obviously with some accidents, you’re just treading water and holding things together until you can get to a medical facility, whereas others can actually be healed by the contents of your first aid kit. Surface cuts, sprains and strains can all be taken care of on the move, as can mild burns, stings and bruising, while with broken limbs, eye injuries, major cuts and 1st or 2nd degree burns it’s a case of dealing with the immediate situation before seeking medical help. Headaches, stomach ache and toothache, while uncomfortable, are okay to dose with painkillers, and even earache, which can be excruciating, requires simple paracetamol.
What to include in a travel first aid kit
First, it’s important to consider the container the kit will go in. Food storage containers are a good place to start. They can contain any spillages, are sturdy and easy to open. Being plastic, they are readily disinfected and, with a range of sizing options, are very budget friendly.
So, once we have the box sorted, we need to consider what to keep in it. If your kit is for the house, or car, it can be bigger than if you’ll be carrying it in a backpack, and can therefore hold more. Luckily many products are available in travel-size packs, thus saving space and money.
A basic first aid kit should contain:
- Disposable gloves
- Cleansing wipes
- A variety of sterile bandages including crêpe rolled bandages, Triangular ones,
- Sterile gauze dressings
- Plasters of various sizes and shapes
- Sterile eye dressings
- Eye wash and bath
- Safety pins/sticky tape for the bandages
- Digital thermometer
- Antiseptic cream
- Hydrocortisone cream for rashes, bites or stings
- Antihistamine tablets
- Painkillers eg paracetamol, ibuprofen, and if you have children, something that’s safe for them to take
- Cough medicine
Depending on the needs of your traveling companions, other items may need to be included, such as an adrenaline pen to deal with anaphylactic shock. This potentially life threatening situation is the result of a severe allergy, causing breathing problems and a rapid heart beat.
It’s important to keep a check on the dates of any medicines to ensure they remain as potent as possible, and if you use an item, remember to replace it as soon as possible.
With this kit tucked into your backpack you are ready to deal with any emergency that occurs.