Boating is one of the best ways to spend quality time with friends and family. Each can seize the opportunity to switch off the TV, unplug from the internet, and enjoy a day or weekend on the water together. It is a perfect way to unwind away from noisy buses, trains, and high-rise buildings. However, accidents may happen on the water, whether you are fishing or hanging out with the family. Even the most experienced boater can find themselves in trouble. To protect yourself and your loved ones, you need a boating first aid kit to keep in your boat.
A first aid kit for your boat is essential because whenever there are injuries aboard, whether minor or severe, come with an additional challenge for help is not always convenient or readily available. Some of the most common medical problems during boating are abrasions, sunburn, and minor cuts and sprains, which are easy to deal with if you have the proper kits onboard.
Here are some tips for picking first aid kits for your boat with the many choices available in the market.
First aid kits should prepare for any onboard emergencies for the typical number of passengers aboard and the remoteness of the area you will be boating.
The number of passengers dictates the number of individual items in your kit. The remoteness dictates the extent of that kit’s contents and what might need to be done on board before you can reach medical assistance. A basic first aid kit will cover the most common needs for a day excursion and short distance of emergency services.
It is essential to make sure your first aid kit is well-stocked with appropriate first aid supplies for your boat. Some items within your first aid kit can expire. Items that have passed their expiry date should be disposed of and replaced as they may not be effective and can start to deteriorate, making them unsafe.
Before picking a first aid kit for your boat, be sure that the expiry date is not in the same month as your voyage. Also, check the expiry date on your first aid products, write the dates down and then stick a reminder in your diary or display it with your kit labels.
If a product does not have an expiry date, it is best to check with the manufacturer date to find out how long you will keep the product. If a non-sterile product has no expiry date, it is a question of judgment based on if the product is still suitable for use.
Marine First-Aid Kit Essentials
Here are the essentials for your boat, whether setting out for a day, week, month, or longer. You need a well-stocked first aid kit on board.
First Aid Guide
A guide about administering first aid can help you figure out what to do if someone gets hurt. It is better to have a comprehensive guide that is easy to understand.
Sometimes it is hard to remember what to do in an emergency. A good first aid manual comes in handy, taking you step-by-step through first aid care. Using the directions, you can patch someone up well enough until they can see a doctor.
The first aid kit should be in a storage container that is portable and easy to access on your boat. Also, storage containers should be resistant to water and free from corrosion and impacts. It keeps everything organized and easily accessible.
Include in your kit these over-the-counter painkillers since each serves a different purpose:
- Aspirin for a possible heart attack
- Ibuprofen to relieve pain
- Acetaminophen for people who are allergic to ibuprofen
Eyewash, also known as saline solution, is used to rinse eyes when they become contaminated with foreign particles or substances. Because when sailing, especially riding at high speed can lead to irritated eyes, especially if you wear contacts. You can use the eye wash to flush out grit, dirt, or foreign objects.
A frequent medical issue on boats is sunburn or galley burn. Burns or any pain associated with a burn can be treated with a burn cream. So, be sure to include in your essentials this burn cream. For a severe burn, you will need to seek medical attention.
Cotton Swabs or Pads
Cleaning is essential when one has a cut before applying the dressing and covering it. Use cotton pads or swabs to get as much dirt as possible out of the area.
Cold packs are instant, ready-to-use, and help control swelling, sprains, fractures, burns, and contusions. They reduce the damage done to soft tissue by cooling the burns.
Sea Sickness Tablets
Sea sickness tablets are more effective if taken before the voyage.
It is an inexpensive and handy diagnostic tool used to determine body temperature.
Bandages control bleeding and absorb bodily fluids from wounds. They are also used to cover antibiotics and antiseptics that have been applied to wounds. Note that you may need small bandages to staunch bleeding or bigger ones.
Antiseptic cleanses wounds before applying a bandage. It destroys the growth of microorganisms because infection prevention is an essential focus if someone gets a cut.
Sterile Absorbent Pads
These can also control bleeding and keep them clean after applying the antiseptic.
Rolled gauze protects a gauze pad or wound area from infection because sometimes you need more coverage for a wound than a small bandage cannot provide. When an injury is more substantial, rolled gauze offers more robust protection.
A foil blanket prevents and counters hypothermia by reducing heat loss from a person’s body, covering injured victims to help reduce shock, to line the inside of a sleeping bag, and can even be used in a hot environment to provide shade as a shelter barrier.
The tweezers remove splinters from under the skin.
Alcohol Wipes and Hand Sanitizer
Use alcohol wipes on tweezers or hands to sterilize them before use. Also, use hand sanitizer to kill germs and microorganisms on your hands after caring for a patient.
Medical gloves provide body substance isolation to protect the rescuer from having contact with blood-borne pathogens from a patient.
In addition to medical supplies, these kits may include rescue supplies such as food, water ration packets, whistles, flashlights, and emergency blankets. Moreover, before you begin your boat ride, you also should ask if anyone has medicine allergies and make sure at least two people know how to operate the VHF radio so that you can use it in an emergency. Bring plenty of water to remain hydrated, and apply sunscreen to avoid painful burns.
Finally, having first aid kits for your boat can set your mind at ease for any outing. You can breathe fresh air, and feel the wind in your hair and the ocean beneath while leaving all your worries back on the shore and escaping for the day.