The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness recommends that all Canadians who have cars should keep an emergency first aid kit in their vehicles.

While a first aid kit can’t serve as a substitute for the equipment and care a hospital provides, it can nonetheless play a vital role in saving someone’s life.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, first aid minimizes injury and future disability. In severe cases, it is employed to keep the victim alive.

A customized first aid kit for your car helps you stay prepared for any roadside emergencies. Here’s a list of the essentials you should pack.

Seatbelt Cutter and Window Breaker

A seatbelt can protect you during an auto-accident by ensuring your body stays in place. However, complications can occur, and sometimes, the locking mechanism can get jammed, trapping the person in the car.

In this situation, a seatbelt cutter is a handy tool to have on you. Some seatbelt cutters come with a window breaker too. They’re used to smash the auto glass in case the car doors get jammed and provide a point of exit.

Instant cold and hot packs

Instant cold packs and hot packs have chemicals in them that react as soon as the pack is squeezed. Cold packs are effective against inflammation and pain. They quickly numb the area that they are applied to. They are used to treat sprains and small burns.

Hot packs are used to restore movement to an area. The heat causes a rush of blood. This relaxes muscles and provides relief from sores.

Essential Medical Items

Some medical items are included in all emergency kits, and they should be in your car too. These include bandages, gauzes, antiseptic, tape, gloves, scissors and antibiotic ointments.

Keep all these items wrapped in clear plastic bags, with the contents visible.

Over-the-counter Medication

Some general over-the-counter medication is also necessary in case of an emergency. This is especially applicable when you’re going on a longer trip.

This includes generic pain medication, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, calamine lotion and anti-allergy pills.

Basic Emergency Items

Other emergency items that you should keep in your car in case of an emergency include flashlights, tow rope, jumper cables, and a whistle.

While having a first aid kit is a great way to stay prepared for any medical emergencies or injuries, you should also know how to use it.

Metro Safety Training offers first aid training in New Westminster for individuals with different levels of expertise. We also provide the Red Cross basic life support training, which includes CPR.

To find out more about training in your area, call us at 604-521-4227 or fill in this short form .