I learned lesson yesterday. When your father tells you that you have to review your cutting techniques, you should listen to him. I didn’t, for years really. But when I accidentally cut off part of a nail and some of the underlying skin yesterday, my very first thought was that I should have listened to my dad. (After assessing if I was not bleeding to death, of course) The second thing I learned is that my first aid kit was coming a bit short. So, I thought it was time for a list of first-aid essentials. For kitchen use, but also for outdoor activities.
Those are the first, most basic thing you need to have. Use them when you have a cut or graze, but also when you have a blister on your feet. They are so versatile. You can also use them for mending things on a hike, but that is something to discuss another time.
This one is especially useful in the outdoors. Whenever you get wounded outside, changes are that you will have gotten some dirt in the wound. Try to rinse most of the rubbish out with clean(!) water, and then disinfect the injury properly. Also use disinfectant when you have punctured a blister.
A tiny little scissor can be a great help when you have to cut off a strip of band-aid, a bandage, or who knows what else. It is just something you should have with you. Or maybe a good pocket knife would work as well, but you should use that carefully, I can know!
Gauzes and/or Bandages
In case of a more serious injury, gauzes or bandages can be very handy. They can cover a bigger patch than a band-aid and are usually better to apply force and support to an injury. Having a small packet of sterile gauzes would be ideal.
Well, if you want to apply a gauze, you need tape to keep it in place. Medical tape can stick to skin a lot better than ordinary tape (and you can get it off less painful), so buying a roll of that is definitely a good idea. You can also create a provisional splint with some medical tape, a piece of bandage and possibly a stick. That can come in handy in case you get hurt outside and have to take temporary measures before you can reach a doctor.
A Tick Removal Tool (preferably a “tick-lasso”)
Ticks are nasty little creatures. If you are outdoors a lot, you are at risk of getting bitten by them. If that happens, there is no cause for panic. Just remove the tick as soon as you have spotted it. The shorter the time he has been on your body, the smaller the chance of getting any diseases. Use a special removal tool for getting them off. (I prefer using a “tick-lasso”, you can get it at drugstores and outdoor shops.)
Make sure you remove all of the tick, legs as well! After removing, disinfect the spot and check regularly over the next weeks. If any suspicious colouring occurs, you should go to a doctor.
For pricking through blisters. Not all medics think it is the best solution to prick a blister. But really, when you have to walk for another ten or twenty kilometres, you are going to be very happy with that needle.
If you get a splinter, try to get it out. Sometimes they have gotten in too deep, then your body has to work the splinter out by itself. But otherwise, it is best to get the rubbish out as soon as you can.
Note of Advice
With these first-aid essentials, you can manage minor injuries. If you get hurt more severely, you should always immediately contact a doctor. Don’t risk making it worse by trying to fix things that you can’t handle yourself.
I hope I have not made too much of a depressing post out of this. Please, I still want to encourage you to go out, be adventurous, chop veggies. Just make sure you have a proper first aid kit, for your own sake.