Car First Aid Kit: Handy in an Accident Until the Paramedics Arrive

The chance of a driver encountering an accident on the road, or them being involved in an accident, is quite high. Having a first aid kit in the car is important, especially in highway travel where an ambulance might take longer to arrive.

It does not have to be a huge kit, but it needs to contain some of the basics:

  • First, make sure the kit is reachable from the diver's seat. During an emergency you don't want to waste time trying to find it with all the junk kept in the boot.
  • A mobile. Get a cheap mobile and keep it in the car kit. Keep it turned off, but every couple of months make sure it has a charged. You do not need a contract to call an emergency number (North America: 9-1-1, Europe: 1-1-2).
  • Non-latex gloves (several pairs): to reduce the chance of touching bodily fluids. It is important for the gloves to be non-latex because about 10% of the population is allergic to latex.
  • Face shields for rescue breathing: to reduce the chance of disease transmission.
  • Triangular bandages, about 4-6: used to tie dressing, to create slings, or to tie splints together. These should never be used to apply tourniquets.
  • Sterile dressings of various sizes: used to control bleeding, or to cover a wound to keep it clean.
  • Safety pins: used to pin dressing in place.
  • Adhesive tape: to tape things together.
  • Scissors: for cutting clothing to treat minor injuries. Make sure it's the kind with a flat tip so it won't cut the skin.
  • Small sugar packs: for treating hypoglycemic or diabetes.
  • Blanket: to treat for shock.

Although not specifically first aid kit components, consider keeping these in your car:

  • Car warning triangular to warn other cars that you have stopped.
  • A candle, lighter, and a blanket in case you are stuck in a snow storm.
  • A flash light with extra batteries.
  • Distilled water in case the engine overheats.
  • A bottle of engine oil.
  • Jumper cables. Make sure you know how to use them first.
  • A small fire extinguisher.
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