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Why you need a first aid kit handy

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

The boy scouts use the phrase “Be Prepared”. What does it really mean?

Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell wrote that to Be Prepared means “you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty” (Wendell, 2017).

I believe that being prepared for emergencies also means having a first aid kit handy. At home. In your car. At work. At your cottage. In your boat. When you travel.

Being prepared means that you can make sure an ill or injured person gets help as soon as possible. And that can mean the difference between life and death.

Make sure your first aid kit has:

  • Emergency numbers for EMS/9-1-1, your local poison control centre, and your doctor

  • Phone numbers for family members, friends, or neighbours who can help

  • Sterile gauze pads (dressings) in small and large squares to place over wounds

  • Adhesive tape

  • Roller and triangular bandages to hold dressings in place or to make an arm sling

  • Adhesive bandages in assorted sizes

  • Scissors and tweezers

  • Safety pins

  • Instant ice packs

  • Disposable non-latex gloves such as surgical or examination gloves

  • Flashlight with extra batteries in a separate bag

  • Antiseptic wipes or soap

  • Pencil and pad

  • Emergency blanket

  • Eye patches

  • Thermometer

  • Barrier devices such as a pocket mask or face shield

The Red Cross First Aid, CPR & AED course can teach you how to use your first aid supplies to help someone who is injured. It can give you the confidence to act.

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Wendell, B. (2017, May 8). Be Prepared: The origin story behind the Scout motto. Scouting magazine.

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