Why You Should Have a First Aid Kit in Your Car


Everyone should have a first aid kit in their car because an emergency, no matter how large or small, can happen to anyone, at anytime. It can also help prevent a minor situation from spiraling into a much more serious calamity. It is not always an option to pull into a convenience store or gas station for bandages or antiseptic solution, especially on a highway or expressway. The next roadside stop could be a hundred miles away. In the case of an accident, it could take rescue personnel a long time to get to the scene, especially if you are in a remote area. Also, a first aid kit is relatively inexpensive and takes up such a small amount of space that there is no excuse not to have one in every vehicle. There are differening types of first aid kits for different situations. The main kits are human, automobile and pet first aid kits.

The medical first aid kit can be very basic or very comprehensive. Just remember that it is better to be over-prepared than to be under-prepared. The basic medical first aid kit should include things like adhesive and stretch bandages, adhesive tape, sterile gauze, antiseptic wipes or solutions, cotton balls and tissues, scissors, tweezers, a knife or razor blade, eye wash, hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, burn ointment, petroleum jelly, antihistamine cream, instant cold and hot packs, acetaminophen and aspirin, antacid, soap and a bottle of water. A more personalized kit may include things like a backup of any prescription medication that the family members take, saline solution for contact lens wearers, sunscreen, insect repellent, a list of emergency contact phone numbers and pertinent medical history of the family members.

An equipment first aid kit is essential to have in case the car overheats, breaks down, gets a flat tire or there is an accident. It should include things like a small set of tools, jumper cables, road flares or reflectors, a can of tire inflator and sealant, water for the engine, unopened cans of brake fluid, motor oil, windshield washer fluid and antifreeze, a car jack to change a flat tire, de-icing spray, a small fire extinguisher, a flashlight and extra batteries, a sewing kit and a blanket.

Anyone who frequently travels with their pet should have a special kit just for them. It should include things like several eyedroppers to administer liquid medication or for cleaning a wound, a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, anti-bacterial ointment or cream, forceps, scissors and tweezers, gauze pads, cotton gauze, adhesive tape and masking tape. Medication like syrup of ipecac, which is used to induce vomiting in the pet in case they are poisoned, an activated charcoal, which is also used for poisoning, as well as to control diarrhea and flatulence in case the pet experiences intestinal or stomach upset, can make the difference between life and death.

While this may seem like a lot of stuff to have in a car, remember that it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Also, the items in the kits are in small, travel-size containers. It will only have just a few bandages or a small pair of scissors, not oversized, mammoth bottles and giant paraphernalia. They are meant as an immediate source of aid in a medical emergency or as a temporary solution to a problem until help arrives. First aid kits can be purchased or you can make your own. Many of the items in the kit are things that are already in the home medicine cabinet. A tool box, tackle box or an art-supply box are good containers to store the supplies so that they stay organized and do not get damaged. Finally, remember to restock the kit if it does get used. Most kits will never be needed for a major emergency, but rather, will be used for isolated incidents and minor circumstances.

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