Travel first aid kits have several uses. If you get into an auto accident, the first aid kit will help you provide first responder treatment to those injured. Administering first aid immediately can prevent serious complications while you wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive. If you do a lot of adventure travel and participate in activities like hiking and rock climbing, a travel first aid kit will also come in handy if you injure yourself during one of your trips. Other uses of travel first aid kits include administering first aid at camp sites, sports events, and school field trips.
Having the right first aid supplies on hand allows you to treat injuries correctly and reduce the risk of complications. Without proper first aid treatment, injury victims could succumb to excessive blood loss or shock. Even minor injuries require first aid to prevent infection and other complications. Your first aid gives you the ability to treat injuries with ice, antibiotic ointment, bandages and other necessary supplies.
Your travel first aid kit should contain some basic medical supplies that you can use in a variety of situations. If you purchase a ready-made first aid kit, check the package label to make sure the kit contains all of these basic supplies:
- Adhesive bandages: These bandages allow you to cover wounds and protect them from infection or further damage.
- Gauze pads: Gauze pads absorb blood and pus from wounds. They also wick moisture away from wounded skin to prevent infection and damage to the skin surrounding the wound.
- Antibiotic ointment: Ointments that contain antibiotic ingredients reduce the risk of infection by eliminating bacteria. They also form a protect cover over a wounded area.
- Tweezers: Tweezers come in handy for removing dirt and debris from wounds. You can also use tweezers for first aid for tick bites.
- Scissors: Pack a pair of scissors in your kit in case you have to cut a bandage or cut away the clothes of an injury victim.
- Adhesive dressings: These dressing absorb body fluids and protect wounds from infection.
- Pain Relievers: Pack acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin in your first aid kit in case of injuries that cause pain and inflammation.
- Instruction Book: Include an instruction book that outlines first aid procedures for wounds, bites and stings, sprains, strains, sports injuries and burns.
- Breathing Barrier: If you have to administer rescue breathing to someone, a breathing barrier will prevent you from having to come into direct contact with the victim’s mouth.
- Antiseptic Wipes: These pre-packaged wipes contain antiseptic substances that kill bacteria.
- Cloth Tape: Cloth tape allows you to immobilize minor injuries or secure bandages in place.
- Gloves: Include several pairs of non-latex gloves to prevent contact with blood and other fluids.
- Hydrocortisone Cream: This cream reduces irritation and itching for bites, stings and other skin irritations.
- Blanket: A first aid blanket helps an injury victim retain more body heat.
- Thermometer: Pack an oral thermometer in case you need to check for a fever.
Some extra supplies could make your travel first aid kit even more useful. Pack an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) in case of allergic reactions or insect bites. Antihistamines reduce itching and irritation. If you include large plastic bags with zipper closures, you will have a good way to dispose of used bandages and blood-stained clothing without having direct contact with these items. If you or anyone in your family takes prescription medications, include these in your kit. Keep all of the medications in their containers with the proper labels intact. This makes it easier for emergency responders to learn about your medical history if you are injured.
Emergency contact cards provide even more protection in the case of an emergency. Create your own card with a piece of sturdy card stock. Write your name, date of birth and address on the card. If you have a chronic condition such as high blood pressure or asthma, include this information. You should also write down the name and contact information of your physician and any emergency contacts. Keep the contact cards in your travel first aid kit.
First Aid Case
If you make your own kit, select a case that you can carry easily. A case with a handle is easier to carry than a case that you have to carry with both of your arms. You should also resist a water-resistant case to protect your first aid items from water damage.