The first aid contents of most kits are often filled with items which can help minor irritation, but fall short in emergencies. This is simply due to the fact that every situation is different. An outdoor first aid kit has different needs than an emergency kit. A family with children has different needs than a single adult. Hurricanes require different provisions than an earthquake. In order to market a product which can be used by all demographics, the first aid kit must be incredibly general. To personalize your first aid kit, first make some space be removing unnecessary items.
1 - Tongue Depressors
If these have a usage in an emergency situation, it is very rare. If a person is chocking or there is an obstruction in their mouth, use the Heimlich Maneuver. If the person is having a seizure, you are no longer supposed to put anything in their mouth and a tongue depressor is far too small to withstand clamped teeth.
2 - Confusing Items
In an emergency situation people are often rushing with adrenaline surging. Pawing through many items which you do not know how to use makes the situation much more confusing and can waste valuable time. Either make it a point to learn, or remove the item in favor of something you directly understand how to use. If you are even remotely unsure, research first so that you do not do greater harm in an attempt to help an injured person.
3 - Tiny Band Aids or Lots
If a tiny bandage is going to help, it is most likely not necessary. You can also cut down a larger bandage to fit if you have to. The same is true for first aid kits which provide 100+ bandages. Instead of focusing on small injuries, a larger focus should be placed on significant trauma. Have 15 regular sized bandages, 5 large bandages, and then focus on blood loss trauma of large wounds. No one will die from a cut on their finger. Someone is in serious jeopardy from a large gash to the body.
4 - Single Dose Medications
Often the dosages of medication in a first aid kit can provide temporary relief from a head ache or minor body pain. These are not bad to have, but have either expired or are too minimal a dosage by the time you need them. Instead, include a small baggie of extra strength, maximum strength and children’s dosages (if necessary) which can be rotated out every 6 months. In this way you can carry more than one dosage and be sure it will work when you need it.
5 - Small Gauze Pads
Small (2 by 4 inch) gauze pads merely prevent minor irritation and can be made by cutting down large gauze pads. Large gauze pads are much more versatile and have a significant enough absorbency they can save someone’s life. Where space is an issue, small gauze is completely unnecessary.
6 - Safety Pins
Swap out the safety pins for the top-grade medical tape. Not only is medical tape more versatile, but it can quickly be applied without injury.