Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time, even in the apparent safety of your own home. According to research, accidental injuries that occur at home causes over 30,000 deaths every year in the United States. These home accidents also cause more than 12 million injuries.
Outside the home, accidents can happen when you or someone you know is performing sports like gymnastics or just driving to the nearest store. Although it’s almost impossible to predict when an accident can happen, you can be ready for them.
Below is a guide on how to prepare kits and information to make it easier to deal with an accident, no matter where they happen.
Prepare a Contact List
In case the worst should happen, first responders need to know who to reach out to. You should have a contact list at the ready; this contact list should include the following:
- Emergency contact:This is a person you trust to handle your affairs should you be unconscious or insensate due to your accident. A parent, your significant other or a trusted friend can all be your emergency contacts. They should also live close enough that they can offer assistance without lengthy travel time.
- Healthcare provider and insurance:It’s important that first responders know which hospital you should be taken to if the injury isn’t urgent. This will make it easier for you to recoup your losses and prevent any issues with your insurance company.
- Your attorney:If the accident isn’t your fault, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer to represent you. The sooner you get in contact with a legal representative, the faster you may get your compensation.
Make this list for every member of your family and tell them to keep it with them at all times.
Stock a First Aid Kit
Every home should have a well-stocked first aid kit so you are able to treat simple injuries and maybe provide some assistance while firstrespondersare on their way. According to the Red Cross,a basic first aid kitshould include the following items:
- Tweezers for removing splinters and small lodged items
- An oral thermometer with a non-glass casing and non-mercury indicator
- Assorted gauzes, from strips to large pads for bigger wounds
- Adhesive bandages and medical tape to secure gauze
- A tube of antibiotic ointment for wound cleaning
- Basic medicines such as aspirins, mild painkillers and decongestants
- A cold compress
- A few pairs of non latex gloves to prevent contamination
- A disinfectant like rubbing alcohol
Your first aid kit should also contain emergency doses of specific medication you or the people you live with need. For example, a spare epinephrine dose if you have a severe allergy. These kits are only for light to mild injuries. Leave treating serious injuries to the professionals.
Prepare a Vehicle Accident Kit
Car accidents are always a risk, no matter how carefully you drive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 3 million people receive nonfatal injuries due to car accidents every year. This makes it essential that you have a vehicular accident kit in your car. Such kits should include the following items:
- A window punch, which breaks your car windows in case the doors become inoperable
- A palm-squeeze powered flashlight and a large battery-powered lamp
- Writing implements and paper for taking note of license plates and assorted information
- A whistle on a retractable lanyard to attract attention
- Mesh vest with yellow reflective tape
- A few road flares for marking accident sites
- 12-hour glow sticks for non-flame light sources
- Leather palm work gloves
- A waterproof poncho for emergency repairs in the rain
- 4 reflective safety triangles with stands
- A fully stocked first aid kit, with emphasis on wound care and disinfection
Write Down Medical Information
Aside from preparing physical items, you should also have your medical information readily available. In case of non-fatal injuries and mild wounds, you have the luxury of choosing a hospital you’re familiar with. These hospitals may already have your records. But if you don’t have a choice, the hospital or medical facility you’re taken to needs to have your medical information readily available. Prepare a physical file that your emergency contact can access with the following information:
- Current medications to avoid dosage errors and chemical reactions from other medicines
- Any allergies, from food to medicines
- Pre-existing medical conditions that could affect surgery or treatment options, like diabetes or hemophilia
- Previous surgeries, especially ones for metallic implants and similar objects
Accidents may happen at any time and anywhere, but you don’t have to be completely blindsided each time they occur. This guide should help you bounce back faster and assist first responders in saving your life.