Every day, people suffer emergencies with all kinds of accidents and injuries, and many are life-threatening. Accidental injury is the leading cause of death for people under 44 in the United States. A third of all injuries in America occur at home, and workplace illnesses and injuries kill 2.2 million people globally each year.
Clearly, accidents can occur anytime or anywhere, so preparing for anything is critical. Consider taking a first aid class so you can render help safely and correctly.
Carrying a general first aid kit wherever you go could save someone’s life. Here are some scenarios where a first aid kit can come in handy.
Car accidents occur frequently and may cause life-threatening injuries. Even a simple first aid kit can help as long as you carry one with you in your car. The first step to helping people experiencing an illness or injury while you’re driving is to have the right first aid supplies you need with you.
You can create your own first aid kit or buy one fully stocked and keep it in your car where it’s easy to reach. The trunk is often the first place people think to keep these supplies, but they may not be accessible if you’re in an accident and can’t get out of your car to retrieve them.
Always remember that the first step to helping in an emergency is to approach any scene safely, whether it’s right outside your car door or across a roadway. Also, have someone call 911 or place a call yourself as soon as you can. Follow the directions in the first aid kit as most premade kits come with them or use any first aid training you’ve taken.
Freak accidents are probably the most frightening and gruesome scenarios where a first aid kit can help. Specific work settings can be hazardous places, such as construction sites or industrial areas. Gloves can get caught in saws, blades or chainsaws, or someone can fall from scaffolding. The list is endless.
But many of these accidents happen at home. Someone can walk into a closed glass door and the glass breaks all over them, accidental suffocations can occur or some people have even died from falling from their bed. Also, farm accidents involving machinery can be very deadly.
Everyone should keep a well-stocked first aid kit at home and other buildings on their property, like barns or workshops. It’s quick reaction and treatment with the right supplies that saves lives.
Everyday injuries are scary, too. How many people have cut themselves slicing vegetables or removing the lid on a can? Just because an injury is common doesn’t mean it’s not life-threatening. You can slice major arteries and bleed out or go into shock. Plenty of people have burned themselves on a stove or fallen and broken a leg or arm.
Most injuries around the home aren’t lethal, but still need to be treated to prevent infection or until you can get to an emergency room or doctor. Burn and antibiotic ointment are good first aid supplies to keep on hand, as well as adhesive bandages, gauze and medical tape. Whether you create a customized first aid kit or buy a premade one, make sure you always have the basic supplies on hand.
The Sudden Power Outage
Emergency kits aren’t just for medical issues. Every kit should include a flashlight and extra batteries. If the lights go out and you need to find your way out of an office building or even your house in darkness, a flashlight is your best friend. It also helps prevent medical emergencies that result from slips and falls.
Go beyond your standard first aid kit and stock a go bag that you can grab if you need to leave in a hurry. You may need survival supplies if a natural disaster cuts you off from community resources during large-scale catastrophes, which we’ll talk about next.
A Natural Disaster
There’s nothing more frightening than a natural disaster because they are unpredictable and uncontrollable. Water and fire are two of the scariest forces of nature. Whether you live in areas prone to hurricanes, tornados or earthquakes, having the right tools can help your family survive natural disasters.
These incidents require more than a first aid kit. Large emergency stockpiles of food, water, medicine, tactical tools and more are needed because these events usually cut you off from community resources. This scenario could be disastrous because you need clean drinking water and food to survive. You can’t live longer than three days without water. Your organs and systems start to shut down from dehydration.
Emergencies and disasters call for a whole other level of preparation. It’s a good idea to build an emergency kit over time that contains enough water, food and supplies for your family to live on for three weeks.
A Global Pandemic
As we’ve all seen, COVID-19 took the world by surprise–and no one was prepared. The worst thing is that some people were fine one day and then deathly ill the next, and many died before even knowing they had the virus.
Keep fever-reducing medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen in your home first aid kit. The best way to prepare is to recognize the signs of a severe illness and know where the closest emergency room is wherever you are, including vacation.
With all emergencies, the key is preparedness. If you have an emergency kit and never use it, that’s fine, but if you need emergency supplies and don’t have them, that’s a serious problem.
Whether it’s a freak accident, hurricane or everyday incident, a first aid kit may just save your life or someone else’s. So, do the smart thing and create kits for your home, car and office so that you always have the right emergency supplies when you need them.