June is #NationalSafetyMonth, so our Transition Tips focus on tools to help us keep control over our own health. Both preparation and access to information allow us to enjoy our summers and have confidence that each of us has the tools to monitor and take care of routine health needs.
- June 6: Building Your Own First Aid Kit
- June 13: Accessible Thermometers
- June 20: Labeling Our Medicines Accessibly
- June 27: Accessible Prescriptions
In this first installment of #NationalSafetyMonth June, we discuss First Aid Kits and how to build our own. Accidents happen, and having a first aid kit at hand provides peace of mind.
First Aid Kits
First aid kits provide a one-stop shop for routine health needs, especially for small accidents. For example, a stumble or fall can cause scraped-up knees or twisted ankles. Kitchen accidents can include small burns or accidental cuts. Times outdoors can lead to splinters and bug bites or stings.
Having a first aid kit on hand enables us to easily and quickly get the items we need to address an injury. This saves us time looking for what we need and lowers our stress levels so we can focus on getting better rather than on searching for needed materials.
As noted above, different activities pose different risks for accidents. We can also tailor our first aid kit (or kits) to our environment/activity/needs.
For example, consider having one first aid kit at home and another for trips (especially those camping trips where nature is all around). Additionally, consider keeping a few first aid items on hand all the time (in a bookbag or purse).
Building Our Own First Aid Kits
The contents of a first aid kit should address the treatment of likely accidents that might occur. Consider items to (1) clean and disinfect cuts and scrapes, (2) stop bleeding, (3) guard against infection, (4) treat symptoms of burns, allergies, etc. (5) remove splinters or ticks, and (6) treat pain. Such items may include:
- Elastic bandages (band-aids)
- Wet wipes or alcohol wipes (individually packaged)
- Antibacterial ointment
- Burn care/aloe vera cream or spray
- Bug bite/sting ointment
- Anti-itch cream
- Gauze pads
- Medical tape
- Oral pain reliever (acetaminophen/Tylenol, ibuprofen/Advil, or naproxen/Aleve)
- Ice packs (instant, disposable)
Choosing the right kit holder
The type of first aid kit case will vary based on the purpose of the first aid kit. For an at-home first aid kit, consider a larger case to hold multiple items to treat a variety of accidents. Factors to consider include:
- Large enough to hold what I have/want
- Small enough to keep in a specific place I choose
- Has a lid – for easy access
- Has a handle – to carry to carry where I need it
Consider using an old shoebox (has good amount of space and has a lid) or finding/purchasing a container specifically as a first aid kit case.
For an on-the-go first aid kit, consider choosing something smaller and something that can be zipped or latched so that the first aid kit contents won’t fall out on a hiking trip. Also, depending on the nature of activities, an on-the-go first aid kit may be smaller than an at-home kit.
A mini-kit in a purse or backpack can be invaluable. It might contain a few elastic bandages, some small tissues or wipes, and some oral pain relief tablets. This small kit can fit in a small zippered pouch or even a small Ziploc bag.
The great thing is: There is no right/wrong answer. Each of us can decide what works best, and we can change our minds (and first aid kits) any time we choose!
Pre-made kits available for purchase
Sometimes, it’s just easier to purchase a pre-packaged first aid kit (or two). Many different pre-made first aid kits are available – different sizes, with different contents, and in different containers. Many different retailers sell first aid kits, including Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, pharmacies, grocery stores – even dollar stores. Explore and find what is available.
Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:
- Our Accessible web form
- Email: Helpdesk@IMAGEmd.org
- Text or Leave a Voice mail message: (410) 357-1546
- Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page or Facebook Messenger
This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.