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Safe at Sea: It is all about ‘the bags’

By Staff | May 9, 2018

Over the next three articles, we will discuss “the bags” – boating bag, ditch bag and first aid kit.

With regards to all three of these “kits,” accessibility is key. All three should be within easy and fast reach; all three should have fast-working zippers/closures; all three should be clearly labeled; and every passenger on the boat should know exactly where all three of the bags are located.

This week’s article deals with the most critical bag of all: the first aid kit.

Clearly, the contents of first aid kits vary significantly. Commercially, you can purchase a first aid kit that fits in a “fanny pack” or one that is suitcase-sized. However, what is important is that the exterior of your bag needs to be clearly labeled – a red bag with the iconic white cross – so that when it is needed immediately, there is no mistake about which bag to grab.

Recommended contents for your first aid kit include:

Medications (subhead)

– Aspirin 325mg (20 count)*

– Benadryl 25mg (four)*

– Tylenol 500mg (eight)*

– Salt tablets (10)

– Advil 200mg (10)

– Antacid tabs (eight)*

– Meclizine (six)

*Check expiration dates

Dressings, bandages (subhead)

– Band-Aids (assorted)*

– Steristrips

– Moleskin (blisters)

– Telfa (non-adherent) dressing

– Gauze pads (6-by-6)

*Check expiration dates

Lotions, creams (subhead)

– Afterbite or Stingeze

– After Sting

– After burn (aloe with lidocaine)

– Calamine/caladry (lotion)

– Sunblock (SPF 50)

– Insect repellent (greater than 25 percent DEET)

– Triple antibiotic cream (individual packs)

Liquids (subhead)

– Hydropgen peroxide (2 percent)

– Isopropyl (rubbing alcohol)

– Betadine solution

Miscellaneous (subhead)

– Cold/hot compresses

– Scissors (bandage style)

– Disposable gloves

– Ace/Coban wrap

– Forceps/tweezers

– Eyewash and eye patch

– First aid manual (American Red Cross)

– Energy bars

– Salongpas

If you have no first aid kit onboard, above is an ideal listing of what to purchase. If you have a fit, double-check its contents. Make sure it is complete and expirations dates have not passed.

A complete first aid kit is essential to being safe at sea!

For more information, call 239-985-9472 or visit online at www.usps.org/localusps/sancap.

A former emergency room physician, Dr. Carl Schultz is a member of America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva.