Best First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

Nobody ever thinks about first aid kits until they need one. However, when an injury does occur and there isn’t a first aid kit, it can not only be frustrating, it can also be harmful to your health. First aid kits are essential for your home, your car, and also for when you’re traveling or camping. Having access to a first aid kit will provide proper medical care for minor injuries, reduce unnecessary suffering and help fight off infection.

Essential First Aid Kit Items

Ready America, a safety service from FEMA, has prepared a short list of essential first aid kit items. They include:

  • Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Burn ointment to prevent infection.
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers.
  • You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.

The above list is a good start for a home-made first aid kit, but it only contains the bare essentials. Personally, I prefer to get a first aid kit that’s been professionally assembled and packaged in a portable case. Buying professionally packaged first aid kits are not only cheaper, they also have many more items for handling a multitude of injuries.

Best First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

The best first aid kit I’ve been able to find is a 326 piece kit that exceeds OSHA and ANSI‘s guidelines. Some of the contents include:

  • Antibacterial Bandages
  • Disposable Thermometer
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Spray Pump
  • Larger Sting Relief Pads
  • Thicker Sterile Gauze Sponges
  • Instant Chemical Cold Pack 6″ x 9″
  • Reusable Hot/Cold Gel Pack 6″ x 9″
  • 27 Antiseptic Towlettes
  • 27 Alcohol Prep Pads
  • 9 Povidone Iodine Prep Pads
  • 1 Eye Wash 1 oz.
  • 20 Cotton Tip Applicators
  • 6 Examination Gloves
  • 1 Hydrogen Peroxide Spray Pump
  • 10 Antiseptic Ointment Packets
  • 12 Sting Relief Pads (for insect bites)
  • 5 Burn Cream Ointments
  • 10 Antacid Tablets
  • 12 Ibuprofen Tablets
  • 12 Non-Aspirin Tablets
  • 1 Instant Chemical Cold Pack 6″ x 9″
  • 1 Reusable Hot/Cold Gel Pack 6″ x 9″
  • 40 Adhesive Bandages – 3/8″ x 1 1/2″
  • 30 Adhesive Bandages – 3″ x 3/4″
  • 10 Antibacterial Bandages – 3″ x 3/4″
  • 15 Adhesive Bandages – 1″x 3″
  • 10 Antibacterial Bandages – 1″ x 3″
  • 5 Butterfly Closure Bandages
  • 12 Wound Closure Strips 1/4″ x 1 1/2″
  • 4 Knuckle Bandages
  • 1 Adhesive Tape Roll – 1/2″ x 2.5 yds.
  • 1 Adhesive Tape Roll – 1″ x 5 yds.
  • 3 Non-Adherent Gauze Pads 2″ x 3″
  • 8 Sterile Gauze Pads – 2″ x 2″
  • 8 Sterile Gauze Pads – 4″ x 4″
  • 1 Sterile Trama Sponge – 5″ x 9″
  • 2 Gauze Rolls – 2″ x 4.1 yds.
  • 1 Triangular Bandage 40″ x 40″ x 56″
  • 2 Round Eye Pad 2″
  • 5 Insect Repellent Packets (1 gram)
  • 4 Finger Splints
  • 3 Disposable Thermometers
  • 1 Metal Tweezer 3″
  • 1 Metal Scissor
  • 3 Splinter Removers
  • 1 English First Aid Instruction Guide
  • 1 Spanish First Aid Instruction Guide

As you can see, a first aid kit like this is very comprehensive, and certainly easier and cheaper to purchase than to build yourself. Most first aid kits like this sell for around $30-$40. At the time of this writing, this first aid kit with hard case was priced at $35.85. Here’s a full list of first aid kits to choose from.

Physical punishment linked to mental disorders

My wife and I were spanked as kids – me more than her 🙁 – and we seem to have turned out as relatively healthy adults. Of course, neither of us liked being spanked, and I never took well to it. Even as I near 40-years-old, I have vivid memories of being spanked, not understanding it, and hating every moment of it.

We have two children, and we chose early on to not spank them. The main reason is because we have 18 years to prepare them to become independent adults, and there’s no place in our society where physically hurting another person to get your way is acceptable, let alone legal. If we’re to do our job as parents, we’re to find a way – as adults – to discipline and guide them towards more acceptable behavior without hitting them.

Now it appears there’s another good reason to not inflict physical pain onto your child. A new study has been released that suggests physical punishment is linked to mental disorders in adulthood. Researchers in the American Academy of Pediatrics reported:

Results: Harsh physical punishment was associated with increased odds of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, and several personality disorders after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and family history of dysfunction (adjusted odds ratio: 1.36–2.46). Approximately 2% to 5% of Axis I disorders and 4% to 7% of Axis II disorders were attributable to harsh physical punishment.

Conclusions: Harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders in a general population sample. These findings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is related to mental disorders.

The study defined harsh physical punishment as pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, and hitting. So an argument could be made that this doesn’t affect children who are spanked. Especially, if the spanking is done in a controlled, quasi-loving manner. However, I would personally add spanking to the list if it’s done out of anger, including quick pops or demeaning spanking.

Hitting another human being creates emotional distress (regardless of the severity) and inflicting pain on an adult in order to get your way is unacceptable in our society. So why in the world would it be okay to do (and thus teach) children it’s okay to hurt them to get our way? If you’re answer includes tradition, “I turned out okay” or religion, then you probably haven’t thought very deeply about this, and you probably should.

New Government Crib Standards will Ban Drop-Side Cribs

Drop Side Crip

Drop-side cribs are used by many parents in the U.S.. They use drop-side cribs, because it’s easier to pick up and lay down a baby, and it also makes it easier to access the mattress to remove and add new sheets. Unfortunately, that easiness comes at a cost. The overall design and concept of drop-side cribs is flawed, at least when it comes to the safety of babies. They are susceptible to entrapping and suffocating babies.

As with all good engineering (and re-engineering), it’s possible to fix those safety issues – not all drop-side cribs are considered dangerous. However, the dilemma that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission faces, is whether they should spend resources on researching and enforcing a better design, or ban them altogether. The U.S. CPSC has decided to do the latter, and I don’t blame them. Not only would new drop-side crib standards be costly to research and develop, they still may not work.

Ban on Drop-Side Cribs

In a recent press release by the U.S. CPSC, they announced the proposal of new rules that will ban drop-side cribs. They expect to finalize the new mandatory rules in 2010, making the rules go into effect soon thereafter. The new rules include better testing standards, and improvements in overall mattress support. They did note that the new rules do not affect playards.

Moving forward, parents will now have to ask the question, “should I use an existing or used drop-side crib, or buy a new one that falls within the U.S. CPSC‘s standards?” The answer will ultimately depend on affordability, and whether or not it’s a decision that a parent can live with – in the chance that an accident does occur.

John Schnatter of Papa John’s Pizza Suggests You Eat Less Pizza

Papa John
Papa John's Founder, John Schnatter

Ever wonder what Papa John’s founder, John Schnatter, thinks about how much pizza you should actually eat? In an interview with a UK radio host, he said the following in response to a question about anti-obesity.

“No. Pizza’s actually healthy for you if you don’t eat too much of it,” Schnatter replied, adding, “You can’t eat five or six slices but if you eat one or two slices it’s very nutritious.” (Source CNN)

It’s refreshing to hear the owner of the largest pizza chain be so candid and honest about what he thinks is a healthy consumption of his product. Although I’m sure it didn’t make his investors happy, but I for one appreciate it.

The take away should probably be to just get one Medium or Large pizza for a family of four (or more) and add something healthy to the mix, like salad, fruit or some other  low-carbohydrate food.

How to Avoid Fruits and Vegetables That Are High In Pesticides

tropical fruit world
Image by mralan via Flickr

Although it would be nice to buy all organically grown fruits and vegetables, it’s usually too costly buy all organic fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, there are some fruits and vegetables that are relatively low in pesticides, making the purchase of some organic fruits and vegetables unnecessary. Below is a list from the Go organic; here’s how article I found in the Tennessean that can help you choose which fruits and vegetables you should buy organic and which ones you can forgo for conventional fruits and vegetables.

Best if Organic (Highest in Pesticides)

  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Red Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

Okay if Conventional (Lowest in Pesticides)

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples
  • Peas

Breastfeeding May Make Children Smarter

There’s been a lot of research in recent years about the connection between breast-feeding and intelligence. However, it wasn’t until new research from researchers in Canada and Belarus that a stronger correlation was made.

The children in the group where breast-feeding was encouraged scored about 5 percent higher in IQ tests and did better academically, the researchers found. Previous studies had indicated brain development and intelligence benefits for breast-fed children.

Researchers still aren’t sure of the cause. On the surface it seems like it might be the milk, but there may be other reasons.

“It could even be that because breast-feeding takes longer, the mother is interacting more with the baby, talking with the baby, soothing the baby,” he said. “It could be an emotional thing. It could be a physical thing. Or it could be a hormone or something else in the milk that’s absorbed by the baby.”

Regardless, pediatricians still recommend that mothers breastfeed their children for at least the first 6 months.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that women who do not have health problems exclusively breast-feed their infants for at least the first six months, with it continuing at least through the first year as other foods are introduced.

5 Parenting Issues Where There’s Plenty of Room to Disagree with the Pediatrician

It’s easy to get a lot of differing opinions about the best parenting techniques for the health of your child. Even pediatricians disagree with their colleagues about what’s for your child. Elizabeth Cohen looked at common parenting issues where pediatricians often do disagree with each other. In her article, When it’s OK to question your pediatrician’s advice, she states these five issues as common points of contention between pediatricians and parents.

  1. Don’t pick up your baby in the middle of the night
  2. Baby should be at home with Mom
  3. Don’t give your baby ‘triple nipple confusion
  4. Your baby must eat solid foods by 6 months
  5. You must take the pacifier away

The overall advice given to parents was this:

If you’re not sure if you’re getting fact or opinion, ask. “It’s a good thing when a parent says ‘Really? I don’t want to do that,'” he says. “You can challenge your pediatrician along the lines of saying, ‘That advice you gave me doesn’t feel comfortable to me. Can we talk about some other options?'”