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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, December 27, 2003

Being ready for minor medical emergencies

By Kathy Antoniotti
Knight Ridder News Service

The human body is a marvelous machine, but it is apt to get banged up and bruised on occasion. Skinned knees and broken bones just seem to go hand in hand with rough-and-tumble outdoor play — even when you try to play safely. It is a good idea to take a lesson from the Boy Scouts' motto and "be prepared" in the event a minor medical emergency happens.

A first-aid kit is essential to have on hand for the safety of all the members of your family. You might choose to keep basic medical supplies at home, or place them in a container to take along on family outings. You can also call your local Red Cross agency to find out about basic first-aid courses where you can learn what to do in case of a medical emergency.

Give an old plastic lunch box new life by filling it with all the necessary supplies to make a transportable first-aid kit with directions I found on the Web at www.kidsdomain.com/craft/firstaid.html.

Supplies you will need:

• Red plastic lunch box.
• Nontoxic adhesive remover.
• Metal putty knife.
• Inkjet full-page label OR self-adhesive paper and red markers.
• Clear Con-Tact paper.
• Scissors.
• Ruler.
• Pen.
• First-aid supplies.

You can print the pattern for the First Aid sticker from the directions at Kids Domain, or design your own using your computer and color printer. Or simply draw the pattern on a sheet of self-adhesive paper and color with red markers. Make two stickers, one for each side of the box.

Take old labels off the lunch box. Remove any leftover glue and paper with a nontoxic adhesive remover. Use the putty knife to scrap off the remaining label.

Wash and dry the lunch box.

Cut the label to fit the front and back of the box and attach one to each side.

Measure and cut Con-Tact paper slightly larger than the labels and apply over the label to keep them clean and dry.

Place the following items into your first-aid kit (suggested items): Assorted sizes of adhesive bandages, sterile gauze, sterile nonstick bandages, Ipecac syrup, antibiotic ointment, elastic bandage, small scissors, tweezers, adhesive tape, hydrocortisone cream, Benadryl cream, disposable instant cold pack, alcohol swabs and plastic gloves.

You might also include a card that lists any emergency phone numbers you may need such as your doctor, hospital, emergency medical services and the local poison control center.