Events yesterday have led me to evaluate the state of my first aide supplies. Really, this list should be good for anyone, but sometimes us older runners need reminders to check the supplies when there aren’t kids at home constantly needing a bandaid.
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Here is what I think everyone should have on hand at home, in no particular order:
fabric tape (When you have to wrap a lot of tape around your hand to secure a non-stick pad in an inconvenient place on the palm of your hand, you want a tape that is both lighter weight and fairly durable.)
Sometimes the stretchy, self-grabbing fabric is a good option. (not so much for something like a hand where there is still a lot of movement of joints.)
waterproof tape (this is exactly what I use often to reinforce bandaids and make an open wound more water resistant. This tape is also good for an extra little piece of pseudo-skin in a place that is getting rubbed raw.)
hydrogen peroxide (I avoid antibiotics like the plague, because I believe using them regularly significantly disrupts the bacterial balance of the body. I have used H₂O₂ for many years to kill germs that may be hiding in wound. Sometimes I dilute it to half strength to make it not hurt so much.)
tweezers with an angled tip (pins and tweezers are basics for minor self-surgery, whether it be pulling back a flap of skin to clean out the gravel or grabbing an embedded thorn.)
long sewing pin (I find long quilting pins work best because you can get a better grip on them. If you don’t sew, maybe you know someone who does who will donate a couple of pins to your cause? Sterilize with a match before use)
Vaseline (to really keep whatever bandage you use from sticking to the sore – I prefer the Vaseline brand. It just feels better to me. I have also been known to keep a small jar of it in the car during the summer because of needing to keep certain areas of the arms and legs from chafing on long runs. If you put it on before you sit in the car there is a good chance of both staining your seats and much of it rubbing off.)
Massage stick or roller (Nearly everyone in my family has one of these. Whether muscles are injured from a fall or tight from a vigorous effort, a bit of self-massage goes a long way to both reduce discomfort and avoid further injury from pulling a tight muscle.)
Hot bath (The only thing this will cost you is the hot water you fill your own bathtub with. Soaking in hot water, followed by trigger point massage has greatly reduced soreness for me on many occasions. This includes times when the soreness was due to injury. We do have the book below and it is quite popular among extended family members)
Super glue (This seems to be a one time use item, no matter how well I close the tube, but it does work great for us on small cuts.)
Only you can decide when you need to look beyond your own knowledge and abilities for more help. Sometimes it can be useful to get the more objective advice from a trusted friend or family member. But these supplies and resources are a good place to start for being ready for mishaps.
Putting together these things would make a great practical gift for an active person, too. There are all kinds of tool boxes or organizing boxes that would be handy for both storage and easy transport. (Here’s a link to a traditional first aid case – the color makes it easy to spot!)
Obviously, I hope you never need any of it, but a little preparation can go a long way to relieving the stress of injury and getting it taken care of well.