Essential First Aid Items You Should Have in Your Car
Having a well-stocked and ready-to-use first aid kit is one of the best ways you can prepare for emergencies. Even for the best drivers, emergencies can sometimes in or near a car, which is why it’s important to carry a kit filled with essential first aid items in your car. You may be at a soccer game when your child suffers a mild sports injury; your family may experience a car accident, or you may need to hunker down in your vehicle to wade out a severe snow storm.
With a car first aid kit, you can treat injuries while you’re away from home or otherwise unable to access medical supplies. Though hopefully you never need to use it, having a first aid kit ready just in case, is a great way to give yourself and your family some peace of mind.
Creating a first aid kit for car storage is easy and cost-effective. You can find a pre-made first aid kit at the store, but it is cheaper to pack your own. Plus, this allows you to customize it based on your family’s specific needs.
What should be in a first aid kit?
A well-equipped first aid kit needs more than just a handful of band aids. From medications, to first aid manuals, there are lots of supplies you might not have considered that can be very beneficial to have on hand. In this guide, we’ll cover the essential items for any first aid kit checklist to help you create your own.
1. FIND OR PURCHASE A BOX TO HOLD YOUR FIRST AID ITEMS.
Look for a container rather than a bag since bags can easily get squished when inside your car. When buying your first aid container box, look for one that comes with transparent inner compartments so you can have a clear view of the items inside. Also, look for a light-weight tackle box with handles, and never put a padlock on your kit because you will need to get to it quickly in an emergency.
2. FILL YOUR CONTAINER WITH THE ESSENTIAL FIRST AID KIT ITEMS.
Your first aid kit doesn’t have to take up a lot of space, but it should be well-stocked. When building your car emergency kit list, consider what you might need to address an emergency. If someone gets injured, you might need bandages and antibiotic ointment. If someone feels ill, you’ll want to have some pain medications. If someone in your family has allergies, you should have appropriate treatments ready.
Here are some essential items that you might want to keep in your first aid kit:
- Adhesive Band-Aids for covering cuts
- Gauze pads for treating wounds
- Safety pins for closing bandages
- Adhesive tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic and hydrocortisone cream for skin inflammation and rashes
- Antihistamine for allergic reactions
- Antiseptic wipes to sanitize your hands
- Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or other pain relieving medication
- Aloe Vera to treat mild burns
- Insect bite relief pads
- Cotton balls
- Cotton swabs
- A digital thermometer
- Curved scissors—the medical kind that doesn’t have a pointy edge, and is used for cutting clothing away from an injury
- A needle
- Hand sanitizer
- Saline solution for eye washing or cleaning wounds
3. INCLUDE CHILD AND INFANT VERSIONS OF ANY OF THE ABOVE ITEMS.
If you have young children in your family, include child and infant pain relievers, any prescribed medication, Benadryl spray, child & infant sunscreen, small bandages, baby wipes, and a syringe or medicine cup for administering medications.
4. DON’T FORGET ITEMS FOR SERIOUS INJURIES AND EMERGENCIES.
These are the items that you may need to use in acute medical emergencies like cardiac arrest, choking, drowning, severe allergic reactions, and car accidents.
- Hot and cold packs—the kind that you just have to snap to activate the heating or cooling sensation
- Synthetic gloves if you’re dealing with serious wounds
- A CPR mask for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- An Epi-Pen for severe allergic reactions
- Plastic bags for disposing contaminated items
5. INCLUDE AN EASY-TO-FOLLOW FIRST AID MANUAL YOU CAN USE TO WALK YOU THROUGH EMERGENCIES.
With all the CPR and First Aid training in the world, you never know what you will recall and what will go “out the window” during an emergency. Look into taking a CPR and First Aid certification class to receive hands-on training. Pro tip: include a written guide of the lessons you learned in the class inside your First Aid kit so you remember what to do in the middle of an emergency.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS YOU MAY WANT TO INCLUDE IF YOU HAVE ROOM ARE:
- Personal items like baby products, allergy, and asthma prescriptions, and anti-nausea medication.
- An extra blanket, or more depending on the size of your family
- A light stick or a flashlight with extra batteries
- A prepaid emergency mobile phone
- Hats and gloves
- Extra eye glasses
- Diapers, bottles, or sippy cups
- A sling
- Non-perishable food like granola bars
Tips for Using Your First Aid Kit
Having a first aid kit in your car is great steps towards safety, but it will be ineffective in the event of an emergency if you don’t know how to use it. Here are a few tips you can follow to use essential first aid items the right way.
- Always disinfect. Open wounds and skin-to-skin contact can lead to infections and the spread of illness. If you have them time, always try to disinfect your hands and the area of injury before bandaging a wound.
- Stop the bleeding. Apply pressure to any open wound to stop the bleeding before wrapping it up or applying a bandage.
- Immobilize the injured area. For trauma and broken bones, make sure that the injured area is immobilized without excess weight or pressure on top of it. Unless you’re a doctor, don’t try to reset or stint the bone yourself.
- Perform CPR for nonresponsive persons who aren’t breathing. If a person isn’t breathing and is unresponsive, perform CPR. You can learn how in our comprehensive guide.
- When in doubt, call 911. For individuals in need of CPR, call 911 as soon as you determine that CPR is needed. For those with serious injuries — or for anyone you believe needs extra treatment — call 911. When in doubt, always call.
- Remember to restock your first aid kit. After using some of your essential first aid items to address any emergencies, it’s important to replace those items ASAP. The last thing you want is another accident or emergency to strike while you have an empty first aid kit.
- Some medical emergencies are bigger than your first aid kit can handle. If you feel that you or a loved one need emergency treatment, contact emergency services. If someone has a large wound or won’t stop bleeding, has sustained a head injury, may need CPR, or is experiencing severe symptoms call 911 right away. When in doubt, always call –– it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Take a first aid or CPR course. The best way to learn how to use your first aid kit in the event of any emergency is to take a Basic First Aid or CPR certification course that teaches you essential lifesaving skills.
Put Together Your Car’s First Aid Kit and Take the Next Step With SureFire CPR
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Now that you’ve learned how to create an impressive first aid kit for your car, it’s important to make sure you know exactly how to use it. After all, first aid supplies are only as effective as your ability to use them.
SureFire CPR’s courses can help you prepare for emergencies with our award-winning CPR and first aid training. Whether you’re a parent looking to learn basic first aid for your family, a future medical professional hoping to get some training, or just interested in first aid, taking a class is a great way to sharpen your skills––and potentially save someone’s life!
Our CPR certification and Basic First Aid classes will leave you feeling ready to use that first aid kit. We’ll cover patient assessment, bleeding wounds, allergic reactions, and much more. If you’re interested, check out our class schedule and find a date and time that works for you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re here to help. Just use our online contact form or give us a call at (888) 277-3143.