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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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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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