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Essential Items for a First Aid Kit (for Home or Car)

Essential Items for a First Aid Kit (for Home or Car)

If you’re a human being who’s reading this right now and not an android or other artificial life form, chances are that you’re going to get hurt at some point in the not-too-distant future. No, that’s not a threat, but rather a prediction based on the number of people out there who manage to hurt themselves on a daily basis. In fact, as I just finished writing that second sentence, my husband bellowed up from the kitchen to tell me that he’d sliced his hand open on the aluminum foil wrapper on a Toblerone bar.

Case in point.

To deal with the various cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites, rashes, grazes, abrasions, blisters, and other miscellaneous boo-boos that you and your family members might acquire, it’s a good idea to have a solid first aid kit in both your house, and your car. If you don’t have a car, then a miniature version strapped to your bike or kept in your handbag/backpack/manly courier bag can be amazingly handy too.

First Aid Kit Contents:

Disposable Sterile Gloves

If you’re dealing with open wounds, it’s best to take extra precaution not to contaminate them with dirt or bacteria that may be clinging to the undersides of your nails. Keep a couple of packages of sterile non-latex gloves in your first aid kit, and replace them after use.

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A Flashlight and Extra Batteries

Just in case you have to help someone in the dark, like during a power outage.

Rubbing Alcohol Swabs

To clean and disinfect wounded areas.

Adhesive Bandages (e.g. Band-Aids)

Whether they’re used to keep a cut clean or to cushion a blister, they’re multi-purpose gems, and it’s important to have a variety of different sizes and styles in your kits.

Sterile Gauze Pads

These are perfect for placing on burns, bad scrapes, or larger cuts that need help clotting.

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Medical Tape

This is to hold the gauze in place, and can even be cut into strips to hold large cuts together until the injured person can be stitched up at a hospital.

Scissors

For cutting the aforementioned tape, or cutting a gauze pad into a particular size/shape. They’re also good for cutting away fabric in case of serious injuries, and can come in handy in ways you probably couldn’t dream up right now.

Tweezers

Necessary to remove slivers, bits of gravel, and other nasty bits.

Hydrocortisone Cream

To alleviate itching and swelling from reactions to insect bites and bee stings.

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Cloth Bandage and Clips

These are ideal for immobilizing wrist, ankle, and knee injuries, and can also be used as a makeshift sling. It’s of vital importance to familiarize yourself with bandaging techniques for different injuries so that in case you ever need to use them, you’ll know what you’re doing.

Chemical “Instant” Ice Pack

A rather brilliant invention, the “instant” ice pack is a plastic sack that contains chemicals which, when the pack is crushed, will meld together to create a cold effect. Though it’s advisable to always have an ice pack in your freezer, these chemical packs are great for keeping in your car, or at home: you never know when someone will use the freezer pack to keep their lunch cold, so having a backup plan is always good.

A Thermometer

In case someone’s running a fever, you can monitor their temperature and determine whether there’s improvement, or extra help needed.

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Pain Relief Medication

Ibuprofen is ideal, but acetaminophen is also handy to keep on hand. They do serve different purposes: the former is good for muscle and injury pain and for reducing inflammation, while the latter is better to bring down fevers and alleviate headaches, and is safer for pregnant/nursing women.

In addition to all of these items, every first aid kit should also contain a laminated—or otherwise waterproofed—list of emergency phone numbers, such as local hospitals, primary care physicians, other healthcare workers (naturopaths, chiropractors, therapists), next of kin/emergency contact, family members, and even veterinarian(s) (in case of emergency pet first aid). There should also be a first aid manual on hand in case the caregiver’s mind goes blank under duress.

You may wish to put a reflective blanket in their kit to help treat shock, as well as a bottle of spring water, Gatorade (to help balance electrolytes if the patient is dehydrated), and some energy bars that can be used to boost blood sugar. These are especially important for a car’s first aid kit in case of any accident—your own, or someone else’s that you’re providing assistance for.

 

When in doubt about something to add to your first aid kit, remember that it’s always better to have something and never need it, then to need it and not have it on hand.

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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