The Right First Aid Kit for You

The best way to buy a first aid kit is to consider how many people it should cover.

Don’t pay too much attention to item count in a pre-packaged kit. More is not always better. Here’s what to look for.

Consider These Things When Buying a Kit

1- Buy a first aid kit based on how many people it should cover. This is the best way to buy a kit. The item count of a kit is not as important.

2- Coaches, both amateur and professional should buy a professional first aid kit-instead of one they put together themselves. This goes for school athletics as well. Basic first aid kits just can’t cut it when it comes to sports injuries both in frequency and intensity.

3- Where do you plan to use the kit? Is it for your home, car, boat? Consider all the possible situations your first aid kit needs to cover. If you are using the kit outdoors look for water-resistant, durable bags. A home kit can be larger and hard-sided.

4- What activities does the kit need to cover, hiking, biking, desk jockey? Look for kits that are specific to the activity. In cycling kits, you’ll find sunscreen and extra bandages. Hiking kits usually carry moleskin and salt tablets.

5- Hard-sided or soft-sided? Look for hard-sided cases if the kit will be subject to a lot of abuse and space is not an issue. A hard-sided case is also good for homes and cars. They are more durable and won’t get crushed. If space is an issue look for soft-sided cases. They are lightweight and easy to pack into any small available space.

6- More is not always better. Don’t just pick up a kit that has 100 or 200 pieces and think you will be covered. Pre-packed kits often are stuffed with items you don’t need just to bump up the item count. When do you ever need 30 dot bandages? A kit with just 10 high-quality items is a better bet than a 250 piece kit stuffed with cheap bandages and 75 mini cotton swabs.

7- Consider any special needs you might have to cover? If your kit needs to cover persons who suffer from allergic reactions, diabetes, asthma or chronic illnesses make sure you include medications and supplies to look after them.

8- A few small kits are better than one big kit you are never near. I live in Los Angeles and I spend most of my life in my car. But for years I only had a huge home kit under my bathroom sink, what good does that do me? I never used it and all the supplies eventually expired. Now I have a small kit in my car, one in my house and another in the backpack I use on my bicycle. I now use them all. All three kits only set me back about $40. And I could have covered myself for much less if I made the kits myself.

9- Every kit needs to have a first aid book. It doesn’t need to be War and Peace, in fact, it’s better if it’s not. First aid instruction cards or a small first aid manual is perfect. Common sense tends to fly right out the window when we are in an emergency situation. You don’t need the added stress of thumbing through a 200-page first aid encyclopedia.

With just a few things to keep in mind, you are ready to buy or prepare a first aid kit that is just right for you.

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