First aid essentials for your next hike

By Waithera Mbuthia

First aid essentials for your next hike

Accidents are inevitable and can happen anywhere. And even as we emphasize the importance of outdoors, we still need to stay safe while out there. Keep an open mind in case of an accident while outdoors.  It is useful to be able to treat accidents quickly and, on the spot, even if it is only to stick a band aid on a cut. In case of something as serious as a huge fall or a snake-bite, always have a hospitals’ or a doctor’s number on speed dial.

In case any accident happens when you’re out unwinding, here are some first aids tips you should apply:

Cardio pulmonary resuscitation –CPR

Take the trouble to learn basic first aid and CPR.
If an emergency occurs, you will have much more confidence in dealing with it if you know exactly what to do. This includes basic first aid steps, like checking the airway of a person, the breathing and pulse rate. In case a person gets unconscious, or choking occurs, the basic steps learnt can save a life.You can get CPR classes at any hospital.

First aid kit

It is advisable that you always carry a first aid kid when going out.You can buy a ready made one in a drug store, or you can make one at home. To make your own at home, here are some of the things that you will need;

-Use a waterproof box or bag to hold all your first aid. Don't make your first aid kit too big though or you will be tempted to leave it behind.

A list of the contents below;

●       Personal Insect repellent to keep flies and mosquitoes at bay.

●       Antiseptic cream for cuts and scrapes.

●       Sun screen for anyone who has forgotten to bring their own.

●       Ointment or white vinegar for stings.

●       Bicarbonate of soda for rashes.

●       Crepe bandage to immobilize limbs in case of a snake bite or sprains.

●       Wound dressings and roll of bandage.

●       Roll of sticking plaster.

●       Disposable gloves. Always wear gloves when you are treating open wounds for hygiene and safety.

●       Band-Aid dressings.

●       Triangular bandage to use as a sling.

●       Tweezers and a needle to remove splinters and bee stings.

●       Matches for sterilizing needles.

●       Paracetamol for headaches.

●       Ibuprofen for more severe pain.

●       An instant cold pack to help relieve the pain and swelling of sprains and bruises.

●       Small sharp scissors.

●       Eye bath to wash foreign bodies from eyes.

●       Antihistamine tablets to treat stings and hay-fever.

●       A small book of instructions for simple first aid and CPR.

If anyone in the group has a medical condition,remember to carry their medication. This is in case of asthmatic attacks,diabetics due to low blood sugar and others.