TOP 3 TIPS – For Your Next First Aid Kitadmin
Accidents happen, everyone knows this! Whether you’re bushwalking, overnight hiking, or in your backyard mowing the lawn, you just never know what life has in store for you. If you like spending your time outside, then you also need to consider our native animals, flora & fauna as well. Whatever the case may be, you need to be prepared for the worst. Having the right first aid kit during your travels can make the difference between life and death.
A First Aid Kit is simply a collection of supplies and equipment that is used to give medical treatment. Every kit differs in terms of content and quality, some have more variety and quantity while others are more basic. It goes without saying that the type of first aid kit you need will depend on where you will be using it and how much knowledge and experience you have.
There’s a myriad of choices for personal first aid kits in Australia. They can be purchased from independent/major supermarkets, chemists, even fuel stations. Unfortunately, marketing of these kits can be a minefield. Here’s 3 reasons why we can end up with far from the perfect kit:
There is an international standard (ISO) for first aid kits. It is Green with a White Cross (see image).
This is preferred to make them easily recognisable to anyone requiring first aid.
A White cross on a Red background is not supported by the ISO, but you’ll see many for sale.
Red is actually a standard colour code from ANSI Z53.1 for Fire Equipment, Danger & Emergency Stops.
2 ITEM COUNT
It is common to find many kits battling something I call ‘Quantity Envy’. A 58-piece kit must be better than a 48-piece kit, right? Well probably not, we are often misled, kits are sealed (yes there’s probably also a compliance reason for this) and that means contents are not readily visible. I’ve seen 64-piece kits, stuffed with 50x adhesive strips, which is twice as many as you’ll likely need. Removing 25x and replacing with 4x non-adherent pads, 2x island dressings, 1x conforming bandage and you’ll have something that is now many times more ‘fit-for-purpose’.
You can purchase almost everything online nowadays, which is great news for the consumer. But it’s a case of buyer beware when your purchasing from an overseas company. Shipping losses do happen, counterfeit goods, and most probably sub-standard equipment.
In the case of first aid kits, sterility is key. If you can’t see what is inside your kit don’t buy it. If the contents are mainly non-branded then they are a candidate for failure. Think of non-adhesive plastic plasters, or bone dry sterile wipes. Finding this out when you’re on-trail is not the right time.
The lure of the outdoors can be enriching and worthwhile if you take all the needed steps that will be of help when looking at safety. If you’re a hiker that places a premium on personal well-being, then your first aid checklist will have items on it that require your personal attention.
The great outdoors offers you unrivaled fun and sightseeing, but it comes with unique threats as well. If you are getting set for that hiking adventure, you need to brace for the known and unknown. Depending on the remoteness of your hike trail, help could be hours away or longer so… “be prepared”.