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Earlier this summer my sister came to visit from out of town. We had an enjoyable multiple day visit and during a conversation the subject of first aid kits came up. Evidently one of her neighbors had suffered a fairly serious burn and no one had a first aid kit close buy leading to some unnecessary suffering.

That was enough motivation for Sis to ask me for a first aid kit recommendation. We have an extensive selection of first aid kits in our line up but I hesitated on which to recommend. I hesitated because our business focus has been b2b and that’s why many of our kits were designed for the workplace. In the workplace there are rules and regulations, do and don’ts that necessarily limit what goes in to these kits. First responder kits fit into a category of their own and we have many fine first responder kits but these kits like the b2b kits are subject to rules and regulations. In our industry you have to build kits that conform to these rules and make sense from a number of other criteria including budgetary. There just isn’t a whole lot of room for creativity.

Think of a car manufacturer who wanted to build his dream car for his friends and family and then imagine that there were no constraints of any kind. With no federal regulations to ponder or EPA standards to meet he could build a car that just wouldn’t happen any other way. Entertaining all of his favorite automotive fantasies he would come up something astounding and you probably wouldn’t be able to sell it at any price. I think you get my drift on this.

I am an industry insider. I have been working in the first aid industry for over thirty years. Over that span of time I have seen some real changes in the first aid industry and the products that have been developed. Some really exciting new products have moved into the marketplace seriously enhancing first aid treatment for a number of different conditions. I’ve also see lots of regulatory changes that create additional limitations. That perspective had led me to want to build the “ideal first aid kit” for my family using all of the new products that have been developed and ignore much of the regulatory burdens that have piled up during my career.

So I marched out to the warehouse and starting pulling the items off the shelf that I wanted Sis’s first aid kit to have. As I assembled the kit contents I wanted I began to see that this was going to be a terrific, one of a kind kit that probably nobody could afford but I pressed on and put all these great products into one of our red first responder bags. The final kit assembled would retail for around $180.00 which is pretty much out of the question for most family budgets.

I’ll post the contents list of this kit in a blog post later in the fall but in the meantime there are a few lessons I can pass along. You could build your own ideal first aid kit too if you just had a little coaching, a little direction.

There are new products available that are truly amazing but not on the retail shelves as yet. One class of product that I believe is an absolute must in a 21st century first aid kit is one of the new stop bleeding products such as BloodStop or Celox.

Another class of products is hydrogels. Hydrogels are nothing short of miraculous for burns of all sizes and types. If you have little ones at home you should have some. We feature and Brun Free hydrogels products in the at our website.

Do your homework. Have a look about your home and where your family gathers to recreate. Think through the possibilities; ask “what could you reasonably anticipate” in the environment that you find yourself in. Make you first aid kit plans based on this assessment.

If you haven’t been trained in first aid and CPR then go do it. There are organizations local and national that offer classes at very affordable rates.