I remember reading a chick-lit book in which the author gently mocked the protagonist’s tendency to carry everything but the kitchen sink in her handbag, out of fear of being unprepared. This tick, which was of course neatly resolved at the end of the novel by the heroine’s One True Love, never seemed so horrible to me. After all, I have children, and if children are going to do one thing to you, it will be to leak bodily fluids all over your pants’ leg.
You can buy prepackaged emergency kits in a drugstore, and I do admire their neat packaging and coverage of every potential emergency. But do you really need to carry a roll of gauze in your purse ‘just in case’?
My theory is that your purse (or briefcase or diaper bag or messenger bag or whatever it is that you use to carry your most necessary possessions) needs to have just enough first supply aids in it to get you back to the car or to the nearest hospital or allow you to keep on talking and your kids to keep on playing. Most of the time you are not likely to be hiking in the woods, or on a desolate highway in the middle of the night. You’re much more likely to be on a playground or in a bookstore and you just need to be able to stop the bleeding enough to be able to get on with what you were doing.
So, I now make my own emergency kits. I have several stashed away in various opportune places: purses, pockets, glove boxes.
I start with a pretty, small box. Celestial Seasons tea used to give away tins with their teas, those are good. Or an Altoids container (well washed) would work. You could even buy one, but that defeats the whole purpose of making your own, doesn’t it? The one I’m carrying currently was a freebie with some breakfast bars, designed to be able to carry the bars in your bag without reducing them to crumbs.
Then, assemble what you need to treat whatever emergencies you might come across. Band aids of varying sizes and superheros, of course, and maybe some antiseptic wipes. Perhaps a tube of antiseptic ointment. A small vial of super strength ibuprofen. I tucked a tube of saline solution (meant to wash irritations out of eyes, but which could also serve to clean a scrape) and some chapstick into my emergency kit, along with a pair of tweezers.
The point is that you decide what you really need to include to treat an emergency. Remember, however, it only needs to be just enough to allow you to finish the park date in peace.
Do you carry an emergency kit on your person? In your diaper bag? In the trunk of your car? (What’s an emergency kit?) What do you keep in it? Have you had to use it lately?