Putting Together The Car First-Aid Kit

When I was little one of the things my mum always made sure we had in the car were two large knitted blankets my Abuela had made, some travel sweets and a car first aid kit. Ever since I got married in 2017 I’d been planning to put together my own car-first aid kit for my husband’s car. Something streamlined, with all the basics covered, but also with anything we might need in case one of us has an accident with an ax, or a chainsaw. We have a wood burning stove for heating the house, no central heating, so a serious accident when cutting wood is a very real possibility. With that in mind, I put together this small kit and thought I would share it with you.

I have two boxes for this; a larger tin box for the big items such as the bandages and Israeli bandage, and a smaller tin for the items which would rattle around and drive me nuts. At some point, I’m probably going to add some travel sweets in the car too – but I don’t want them in the glove compartment or anywhere near the first aid kit. While potato is still quite small, he won’t be small for long, and I don’t want the first aid kit to look like a treat tin. It’s also the reason I don’t have a full packet of ibuprofen or paracetamol in the kit. It might sound a little paranoid, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. There’s just enough in there for a day, maybe two if needed, but not enough to send a little one to the hospital because they got hit with a case of the curious munchies.

I bought the large tin in Tiger a few years ago, and the smaller tin had originally been bought for keeping Potato’s nappy cream in it. When that didn’t work I figured I’d save it for the car first aid kit.

I wanted it to be obvious and visible to anyone who urgently needs the kit what it is they’re looking for, and you can’t get much more obvious than a bright red tin with the first aid cross on the top.  I also added a list of contents to the inside of the large tin lid, which might be slight overkill, but it was a detail I think will help keep it semi-organized. Finger’s crossed.

In The Big Tin:

  • Emergency Blanket: Good for cold and protection from the heat. I’ve seen some families use it as a curtain on their car window too when they’ve had to travel for long periods in hot weather. It’s a little bit of a DIY botch job to use it like this, but when it’s hotter than hell in the car and you have a sunburnt crying child in the seat behind you, making the car look like a small spaceship is a small price to pay.
  • Emergency Bandage/Israeli Bandage: Designed to stop hemorrhagic wounds, this was the first thing I put aside for the car first aid kit. The main reason I want this is in case myself or my husband has an accident with the chainsaw. It’s unlikely to be needed, but if it is needed, it will quite literally save a life.
  • Instant Ice Pack: Self-explanatory really. Also great if you’re unlucky enough to get sunstroke.
  • Savlon Antiseptic Cream: It’s cream, it’s antiseptic.
  • Homeoplamine: This is a cream my mum always had in the car, and my God, it’s amazing! When I had my photo taken by Rankin a few years ago the makeup artist on the set was using this for lip balm and gloss, and it reminded me how much of a great product it is. I use it for scuffs, rough dry skin and chapped lips which are one painful smile away from splitting open. It’s basically your nuclear option moisturizer.
  • Sudocrem (Depotted): I’m yet to find Sudocrem in a pot that isn’t huge, so I de-potted it into a smaller tin and labeled it. Great for nappy rash, sunburn, emerging zits, insect bites and sometimes eczema. I say sometimes for eczema because I know quite a few people who suffer from it and were sensitive to Sudocrem.
  • Charcoal Tablets: I keep this in a small travel pill tube which fits about 5 tablets in it. This is a must for me. A few years ago when I bothered to go out for drinks I would always end up being the designated sober friend – yes, it was annoying. Quite a few times those friends just couldn’t help themselves and drank way more than they should. That’s when the charcoal tablet came out, because if they want to hug the toilet in the pub, fine, they can do that, but I’m not scrubbing their vomit off my carpets at 3am. It’s the absolute bomb if you get food poisoning, and potentially lifesaving if you (or a little one) has eaten/swallowed something poisonous.
  • Olbas Oil Inhaler: When your nose or sinuses are completely blocked up this little inhaler is incredible for unblocking them. Sometimes it’s only a very temporary unblocking, but I’ve never regretted carrying it around when I have even a mild cold.
  • Scissors: Good for cutting bandages to size, cutting threads off clothes, fixing up the stray ends you’ve just noticed (yup, I’ve done that) and a tone of little things that you won’t even think of until you need it.
  • Tweezers: When I was little my siblings and I seemed to get splinters. All. The Time! Especially if we were on holiday or away from home. Once I was a little older I ended up being the designated splinter remover because I had a knack for getting them out. That habit has stuck with me, so I always keep a good pair of tweezers on me. Oh, and they’re also good for a quick last minute tidy up of your eyebrows when you’re in the car.
  • Large Bandage: For big problems.
  • Small Bandage: For little problems.
  • Small First Aid Tin: All the little bit’s and bobs that will get lost or destroyed if left loose.

In The Small Tin:

  • Plasters: A collection of a few large, medium and small plasters. All fabric and none of those useless waterproof ones which always seem to congregate at the bottom of swimming pools.
  • Disinfecting Wipes: I did consider having hand sanitizer in here, but since I always have a bottle of the stuff in the baby bag and the bottle would take over most of the first aid kit, I opted for the wipes instead.
  • Woundseal Powder: Designed to make blood clot and create a scab/seal. Another must-have on my list in case of a serious accident, or just a cut that won’t stop bleeding.

  • Strepsils Sore Throat Lozenges (in honey and berry flavor): A favorite of my husbands and utterly indispensable if either of us gets a flue/cold.

  • Two Compeed Plasters: I had a small box of these when I walked the Santiago a few years ago, and as far as I’m concerned these are essential. I can handle the flue from hell, but an evil blister will take me down like a bulldozer.
  • Four Paracetamol Pills: These are mostly for me as I’m mildly allergic to Ibuprofen.
  • Three Eyewash Pods: I’ve seen kids calm down faster from nasty cuts and bruises than from a dirtball to the eyes. They don’t take up much space in the kit and they’re worth their weight in gold.
  • Water Purification tablets: This one is just a camping habit which I might eventually drop, but for the moment it doesn’t hurt to have them in there, and it makes me feel better knowing I have them.
  • Four Ibuprofen Tablets: Mainly for anyone else who might need pain relief, or for me if the pain get’s too much and I’m willing to swell up like a balloon to make it stop.
  • Beecham’s all-in-one: Great for pain, congestion, chesty cough, flue and colds.

The last thing I did was write out what exactly was in the kit and which tin it was in. This might be a complete waste of time, but even if it gets completely ignored it still gives me a list of what I kept stocked inside in case I forget.

So that’s it!

I have one or two items I might remove or try to use up at some point, like the Beechams all-in-one, or maybe even the water purification tablets. But for the moment I want to leave it in the car for at least a year before I go through it again and re-refine it. One item I might add is topical pain relief, but for the moment I’m quite happy with the kit.

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