A zero waste first aid kit is always handy to have on hand, in case of emergencies. The thought of first aid can sometimes be scary, as it makes us think of things that could go wrong. But in fact, having a little first aid knowledge is good for minor emergencies, and also good for major emergencies. It would be good if schools taught first aid on the national curriculum. This post covers both first aid for humans and for pets.
The problem with most first aid manuals is that they are long and complicated, most people don’t read them for fun. You want something quick and easy, and always try to get updated versions.
- St John’s Ambulance has first aid courses, first aid kits and volunteer opportunities, and also sells fully and semi-automatic defibrillators for shops and towns. The site also has up-to-date advice on first aid emergencies. You can also use the site to sign up as a community first responder (someone calm and trained in first aid, to arrive and help, if there is a delay in paramedics arriving.
- Let’s Learn First Aid is a simple book for children which (whisper it) could also be used for adults who get worried reading first aid books. Learn how to help if someone is having an asthma attack or nosebleed, goes into anaphylactic shock or has broken bones.
- Daisy First Aid offers free fun classes for parents and anyone else in the community. Just 2 hours long but packed with life-saving info.
- You can also take 7 course at First Aid for Free onine
- St John Ambulance First Aid Manual is the only fully authorised guide, which is used for training. It features tips on what to do for over 100 conditions from splinters and sprained ankles to unresponsive casualties, and even includes tips on delivering first aid for a mental health crisis, and what to do in a terrorist incident.
This cocoa salve with vitamin E is ideal for inflamed skin, scars and uneven skin pigmentation. It’s made with cocoa butter and shea butter (not for latex allergies) alongside almond oil, vanilla and turmeric. Just melt into your hands, and massage into skin.
Shea butter is from an African tree, and known for its rich skin-healing properties. Although not for latex allergies, for everyone else it’s a rich cream that also helps to heal sunburn and can also be good for dry frizzy air and extra-dry skin. Turmeric is extensively used in Indian medicine for beauty care, and can also be taken in foods to help your tummy. A tiny pinch of turmeric can also dye food yellow (it’s used to make ‘vegan scrambled egg!)
Zero Waste First Aid?
So obviously in an emergency, you are likely not thinking whether the plaster or wound ointment will biodegrade. So what can we do to try to help?
Patch Large Bamboo Plasters are for larger cuts and grazes. Made from biodegradable organic bamboo that is sustainably sourced, the set includes a mixed pack of 10 large square and rectangle, and can be disposed of in the organic waste or compost heap. Free from irritating chemicals, the adhesive is pressure sensitive adhesive, made from natural minerals and tiny suction cups to gently adhere to skin without causing reactions. The plasters are available in four types: Natural, aloe vera (good for minor burns, blisters and minor abrasions0, coconut oil (for sensitive skin) and activated charcoal (to draw out impurities and infections from minor wounds).
Choking Hazards to Avoid
Not just nuts and seeds, but also thick nut and seed butters. NHS says it’s ok to eat nuts during pregnancy, but not for medical conditions or allergies. It used to be the advice to avoid nuts if say the father had an allergy (that’s changed, it’s up to you if you feel safer avoiding them). To help prevent choking for children and anyone with swallowing difficulties (such as people with Parkinson’s), sit up while eating (put children in high chairs) and avoid eating on the move. Other choking hazards are:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Corn kernels
- Grapes & dried fruits
- Hard sweets
- Melon balls
- Crisps & crackers
- Marshmallows & gum
- Chips & popcorn
- Granola bars
- Carrot sticks & veggie hot dogs (cut lengthwise and then again)
First Aid for Pets
First of all, get this lovely book to keep your book safe. It’s packed with fun illustrations, and has a simple first aid guide, so you can learn simple first aid tips, without getting scared. It’s a wonderful read and also covers a lot of preventive first aid like toxic foods and toxic plants to avoid, and tips on collar safety, bloat and more.
- PDSA has a great page packed with simple first aid advice, and there is a free downloadable handy guide that you can print off and keep, for all species. First Aid for Pets run local and online courses and have an acclaimed book First Aid for Dogs).
- First Aid for Dogs and First Aid for Cats are two simple books from Need 2 Know which cover all you need to know, but nothing more to eek out the book, so it avoids it becoming too complicated.
- Other good courses are run by Animal Love First Aid (taught by a vet) and The Canine First Aid Company. There are many more offered locally or online.
- You can buy first aid kits for pets at Animal Aiders.
- Ask your bookstore to order in a copy of Pet First Aid for Kids, with simple instructions for readers age 8 and over (the author also offers many more pet first aid resources.
- PDSA also has a good first aid section for horses.
- UK Rural Skills has a first aid for farm animals course in local counties.
Often ticks must be removed by the vet as it’s really important to get the head on. But Tick Twister (invented by a vet) has better reviews than most, and is also a good investment for vets. All tick removal leaves microscopic parts of a tick’s mouth, and removing with tweezers can exert pressure and cause the mouth parts to break off, so they remain in the body. You don’t lever using this tool, but simply twist, full instructions are on site.
The tool can also be used for humans, and be disinfected or sterilised after use. Made from easy-to-plastic plastic. Unlike most tool,s it does not leave the tick’s rostrum in the skin, nor squeeze the tick’s abdomen, which can leave infection.