First aid kit – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
Designing your own first aid kit is one option. However, the advantages of buying one that is already ready and compactly arranged allow you to take that thoughtful little bag to any activity or place and thus be prepared in case something goes wrong. Nobody better to know everything that may be needed in the event of a wound or injury than the experts who have designed the Sans Cruz Roja First Aid Kit . Spanish doctors from this institution have carefully selected all its content, made up of 41 essential articles. For its part, the useful 200 pieces of the Honyao Mini kit come very well organized and ready for any emergency in a small portable and waterproof box.
Both the healing of a superficial wound and the convenient care of a major injury until the proper medical help arrives are possible with the necessary items on hand. This guide to buying the best first aid kit will help you choose the best alternative to be prepared for an accident or unexpected health event so that you can help yourself or others.
More than an inexpensive design, the best first aid kit is one that is practical in size and portability so that it can be easily carried or stored. A few seconds can be key in the care of a wound and, if you do not have quick access to the necessary elements, the situation can quickly escalate.
There are various alternatives in the form of a box, bag or case that come in different sizes, colors and made with different materials, among which plastic and nylon are the most recommended for their waterproof characteristics.
Likewise, the compact size first-aid kits are convenient to fit in the glove compartment and have them close to you in the event of an accident in the car or to put them in your backpack for a few days camping. There are those that allow you to grab them by the central handles, those that have a strap to carry them over the shoulder and those with MOLLE straps to place them in backpacks or tactical vests.
Although the exterior design is undoubtedly important, the space and its internal organization are essential to achieve the orderly classification and quick location of each item. There are some first aid kits that only offer their space when you open them. However, it is better to find those that provide a division of compartments with plastic and zippers, mesh with elastic or a large number of pockets.
Accompanied by a design that you like and is comfortable in size, when comparing first aid kits, you cannot lose sight of the product that meets the functionality you need. For this, the characteristics of the articles that make up its content will determine if it is a first-aid kit designed for the home, the car, hiking and even for browsing.
Any type of medicine cabinet that is talked about has essentials such as gloves, scissors and tweezers that are accompanied by other elements according to the purpose for which it was designed. To cover any event with the family and children in the home, a medicine cabinet should be chosen in which gauze, bandages, ointments, plasters, analgesics and creams for burns are not lacking.
For an office, it is these same items that must be present, but in larger quantities depending on the number of people working at the site. For the car, there are important extras like pads for large wounds, non-adherent dressings for burns and emergency blankets or ponchos, among others.
Hiking and camping unquestionably require anticipation of possible bites, abrasions and injuries that can occur during the adventure. Therefore, make sure that bandages, cold packs for swelling, splints for any dislocation, thermal blankets and whistles are present in the first aid kit that you are going to buy.
The quality and quantity of parts that come in the kit determine, in most cases, how much the model you like costs. A first-aid kit with a greater number of pieces can not only be more complete, but could also provide greater coverage in the event of several people needing care. For example, when it is a hiking group or it is several people who usually go in the car or work in an office.
The type of medicine cabinet also determines the number of items. Trauma kits are special for injuries of a certain significance and tend to have fewer parts, as they have more specialized features. For first aid kits classified as basic or complete, the number of pieces could be between 10 and 220 and bandages, gauze, plasters and swabs are usually the items in greater quantity.
However, there are other essential pieces of which you should make sure that there is at least one of its kind, even in the most basic medicine cabinet. Among them are scissors to cut the gauze or clothing of the injured, if needed, medical tape to secure the gauze and tweezers to remove splinters, glass debris or the stinger that could be left by a bee.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to use a first aid kit?
The first thing is to familiarize yourself with all the items that the kit contains. It is important that you know in which situations and how each one can help you. So taking the time to read the guide or description on the labels is a good idea before seeing yourself in the emergency. Similarly, explaining that information to other family members is a foresight.
To have an easy and fast accessibility to the article you need in a certain urgency, make sure to group its content by function and give it a compartment or pocket in which you can search directly. Likewise, it is highly advisable to carry out a review, at least twice a year, to verify that there are no expired medications and that you can replace them.
Q2: What should a first aid kit contain?
It all depends on the utility you want to give it. Although all types of first aid kits will have basic elements in common, their content differs depending on the type of purpose. For example, cotton, sterile gauze, antiseptic solutions for wound healing, tape and adhesive dressings, as well as gloves and scissors are items that cannot be missing in any.
When it comes to first-aid kits designed for hiking or camping, thermal blankets, splints, triangular bandages, tourniquets, sting relief items and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation masks are essential.
For the car, instant cold packs and non-stick burn pads are among the must-haves. In addition, it should be taken into account that, if it is a question of undertaking a trip with children, a thermometer and medications such as paracetamol should be present.
Q3: What is the difference between a basic first aid kit and a complete one?
It is expected that a basic one will be able to respond to those accidents of everyday life such as cuts or superficial wounds. For its part, a complete one offers a variety of elements that, in addition to immediate attention, can help to stabilize an injury with bandages and special dressings to relieve pain.
Q4: When does the contents of a first aid kit expire?
It all depends on the time of purchase with respect to the date of manufacture of its content. In general, all non-sterile items have a shelf life of around 5 years.
On the other hand, articles for disinfection such as alcohol or medications such as antibiotics, pills and ointments could indicate a shorter period. Therefore, it is recommended that you do a periodic review to make the necessary replacement.
Q5: Is it mandatory to carry a first aid kit in the car?
Unlike signaling triangles, first aid kits are not required by law in Spain. And, if you travel in your registered car and you must make a transitory passage through a European country where it is mandatory, you will not receive a penalty for not taking it.
However, the obligation is based on conscience and foresight action. This is a highly recommended element for its usefulness in cuts or injuries that you or your companions could suffer in the event of any accident at the wheel.
Q6: What maintenance does a first aid kit require?
Cleaning a first aid kit that is used for outdoor activities where dust and dirt get into it is necessary. For this, you must remove all the items carefully before washing the bag in the manner indicated by the manufacturer. If you don’t need it, a damp cloth may be enough to remove any stains.
For the rest, its maintenance has to do with carrying out periodic reviews to replace items that have run out or are close to being finished and those whose expiration time has already reached its date.
Q7: Where to put the first aid kit in the car?
The most recommended place to place it is the glove compartment of the car, since it is a place that can be easily accessed. The least you want is to live the experience of a car accident, but in case you have to face it, the easiest you can get to the medicine cabinet will allow you to treat yourself until the ambulance arrives.
Placing it in other places like the trunk can be inaccessible if your car is hit from behind or it is so dark outside that it is difficult to move into it. By forecasting, you can have a very complete first-aid kit in the trunk, but it is essential to keep one in the glove compartment.