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. Having one in your vehicle when you’re not in the safety of your home is very useful to have. 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. You can find first aid kits for your car already packaged, but it will probably cost you less to pack one yourself, and this way, you can customize it to meet your family’s specific needs.
The next time you get a free moment at home, begin thinking about how you will organize your car’s first aid kit, and keep these essential items in mind:
Find or purchase a box to hold your First Aid items.
Look for a container rather than a bag since one can become easily 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. 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.
Fill your container with the essential First Aid items.
Here is a list of all the First Aid basics you should always keep well-stocked in your First Aid car 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
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.
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
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 and include a written guide of the lessons you learned in the class inside your First Aid kit.
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
*Tip: As soon as any of the above items are halfway gone, restock to fill your supply. That way you’ll never be without less than you need. And be sure to restock prescriptions as you use them, and as they expire.
Put together a well-stocked car emergency kit and prepare your family for an unexpected situation. You can further prepare yourself by completing a CPR and First Aid class. Look into the classes from SureFire CPR and choose a date and time that fits into your schedule.