The Surfers First Aid Kit
As the scouts say - 'be prepared'. If you are off on a trip it is a good idea to be ready in case anything goes wrong. It is a really sensible idea to take along a few essential medical supplies with you - especially if medical help is a distance away. You do not have to go wild and take the entire contents of the emergency room, so pack for where you are going and what conditions you will be encountering. It also makes sense to have a look at a first aid booklet before you go to familiarise yourself with treatments. Better still do a first aid course - it could come in handy anywhere.
Here is about the minimum we recommend for your medical kit:
- Antiseptic Wipes / Wash / Cream
- Sterile Saline Solution
- Steri-strips / Sutures
- Wound Dressings
- Bandages / Sterile Gauze
- Band Aids (a good selection of sizes)
- Waterproof tape / Duct Tape
- Latex Gloves
- Cotton Tips
- Stainless Steel Scissors (good quality)
- Stainless Steel Fine Point Tweezers
- Safety Pins
The further off track you go the more you have to be prepared for something that might happen. Surfing can be a dangerous activity and something could happen at any time.
The above kit covers injuries but have a think about other non surf injury related items you may need such as laxatives / rehydration salts / water purification tablets / anti malarial tablets. The list could go on for a while. Visit the World Health Organisation Website for a list of the ailments you could encounter - don't let it put you off too much!.
As mentioned earlier it is a good idea to have some first aid knowledge. Make sure you know first aid essentials - it's all very well having the medical kit but not a whole lot of good if you do not know how to use it. Here are the basics you need to know - if you don't already then go and find out. Make sure you know how to:
- clean a wound properly. It stops infection. Absolutely essential for coral cuts.
- dress a wound once clean
- apply steri strips to close a wound
- stop bleeding
- administer effective CPR
- recognise Infections