A first aid kit should contain more than just bandages and antiseptic creams. There are a variety of items in your kitchen cabinet and perhaps on your window ledge that can be added to first aid kits.*
- Aloe Vera is a member of the succulent family, related to cactus. It has a reputation for healing and soothing burns. Keeping a plant growing in a kitchen window will make it handy to snip a leaf and apply it to burns. Aloe Vera can be used to make a mouth rinse and hand sanitizer. It is also soothing for sunburn. 1
- Cayenne Pepper can be used for wounds that won’t stop bleeding. Apply the powder topically over the wound. Mixing a teaspoon of cayenne to a cup of warm water and giving it to the person to drink has been reported to stop a heart attack in progress. 2
- Ginger helps reduce nausea or motion sickness and lower blood sugar levels (diabetics use with caution). Available in many forms: capsules, powder, tea, essential oil, crystallized or fresh rhizome, it has also been used for indigestion, gas or bloating.Sipping a tea made from boiled ginger rhizome has been shown to reduce nausea for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. 3
- Clove Oil has pain reducing properties. It is often used in dental emergencies. I’ve made a small pouch of ground cloves in gauze, tied with dental floss and tucked it under and around the inside of a broken molar. This provided pain relief and kept the side of my tongue from being sliced by the sharp filling until I was able to see a dentist. 4
- Raw Garlic Cloves have been touted as great medicine for asthma, coughs, difficulty breathing and other disorders of the lungs. It can be used to clear sinuses, stop bug bite itching, and relieve ear aches. 5
- Peppermint Oil is especially useful for headache and stress relief. Use a small amount of carrier oil, like almond, and a drop of peppermint oil rubbed on your temples, forehead, over the sinuses (avoid the eyes), and on the back of the neck to soothe headache.6
- Witch Hazel has been used for centuries by Native Americans as an astringent. In addition to treating acne and oily skin, it can be used to reduce eye puffiness and for shrinking blood vessels (did you know it is a major ingredient in Preparation H® hemorrhoid cream?) Witch Hazel is an excellent remedy for sore throats. Make a tea from leaves and twigs by soaking them in very hot water. Add a few cloves and soak for at least 15 minutes. Strain off the solids and gargle with the tea. Tattoo artists use Witch Hazel to cleanse a new tattoo. It cleans the skin of germs and bacteria and soothes inflammation.7 Dab it on cuts and scrapes to reduce bleeding and clean an injured area to prevent infection. Eases sunburn discomfort.
These are just a very few natural products to add to your first aid kit. We would love to know what other items you include. Send your comments to: email@example.com.
*Note: The author is not a licensed physician, the suggestions in this article should not replace the advice of trained medical staff and officials. This information is not intended as a substitute for a first aid course, but offers information that could be used when professional medical assistance id delayed or temporarily unavailable. All information presented in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and neither the author or Sun Oven International, Inc. can accept responsibility for any injury, loss or damage arising from the use of this information.
made naturally by bees, from the nectar of plants, for their own consumption. After collection, the bees regurgitate the nectar into hexagonal-sided honeycomb cells made of wax and stored inside a bee hive. The constant fanning by the bees’ wings cause evaporation creating the sweet liquid we call honey. The color and flavor of honey will vary based on the flower nectar collected. Beekeepers harvest honey by collecting the honeycomb frames and scraping off the wax cap made by the bees to seal the honey in each cell. Spinning the frames in a centrifuge extracts the liquid from each cell.
It is a versatile food staple and with a little care, can be stored indefinitely. Honey found in Egyptian tombs was still good after 2,000 years. Consider adding it to your emergency supplies.
processed with a minimal amount of heat, contains many phytonutrients which provide anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. There are three key health benefits: it is a natural energy booster, a great immune system builder, and a natural remedy for many ailments
When you use it in cooking instead of sugar, reduce the amount by 1/2, reduce liquid by 1/4 cup and reduce cooking temperature 25º.
As a remedy for ailments, it can be used for hangovers, sore throats, sleeplessness, and cuts and burns. Mix it with vinegar for a self-detox, with cinnamon for bad breath and hair loss, and with milk to improve digestion. Do not feed it to babies less than a year old because of the danger of botulism.
Recent declines in honey bee populations
have researchers looking for causes. Their results show a complex mix of pesticide and fungicide exposure and bee pathogens as the problem. Some regulatory agencies are considering stricter controls on agricultural chemicals used as part of the solution.
Whenever you perform first aid on anyone, there is always a chance of spreading germs or diseases between yourself and the victim. These steps should be followed no matter what kind of first aid is being done — from very minor scrapes to major emergencies — to reduce the risk of infection.
BE AWARE…this is an emergency situation – you could be putting yourself in danger!
… Try to avoid body fluids like blood or urine (pee).
… Cover any open cuts or wounds you have on your body since they are doorways for germs!
BE PREPARED…Stay calm and Think before you act
… Wash your hands with soap and water before and after giving first aid. If using hand sanitizer, rub hands for at least 15 seconds.
… Have a first aid kit handy, if possible.
… Put something between yourself and victim’s body fluids, if possible
… Blood or urine – wear disposable gloves or use a clean dry cloth
… Saliva or spittle – use a disposable Face Shield during Rescue Breathing
… Clean up area with household bleach to kill germs.
… and… HAVE A PLAN! Check the ABC’s, call 9-1-1 and help victim
Airway. Open the airway by tilting the head back, gently lifting the jaw up, and leaving mouth open.
Breathing. Place your ear over victim’s mouth and nose. Look at chest, listen, and feel for breathing for 3-5 seconds.
Circulation. Check for a pulse using fingertips (not your thumb) in the soft spot between throat and the muscle on the side of the neck for 5-10 seconds.
Before giving first aid, you must have the victim’s permission. Tell them who you are, how much training you’ve had, and how you plan to help. Do not give care to someone who refuses it – unless they are unable to respond. Reproduced with Permission: http://www.ItsaDisaster.net “It’s a Disaster …and what are YOU gonna do about it?”
Red Cross can help families “Get Trained”
One quarter of Americans say they’ve been in a situation where someone needed CPR. If you were one of them, would you know what to do?
Studies have shown that being trained in hands-only CPR can make the lifesaving difference when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest.
Join the millions of people we train each year by taking a 30-minute Citizen CPR class at your local Red Cross chapter. The course teaches how the hands-only technique can save a life.
Download the Hands-only CPR Ready Reference sheet depicting the steps of this technique in English and Spanish.
The Red Cross also offers courses that certify people in first aid, full CPR and using Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
What is hands-only CPR?
Hands-only CPR is a potentially lifesaving technique involving no mouth to mouth contact. It is best used in emergencies where someone has seen another person suddenly collapse.
The hands-only technique increases the likelihood of surviving cardiac emergencies that occur outside medical settings.
How is full CPR different from hands-only CPR?
Full CPR combines rescue breaths with chest compressions and is the best option in some emergencies, including those involving infants and children, drowning victims, or people who
collapse due to breathing problems.
How else can I get involved?
The American Red Cross wants to educate 5 million people about hands-only CPR. Will you help us spread the word about this lifesaving technique?
Click below the graphic below to access additional information about American Red Cross classes in your area.
October, 2011 Every Needful Thing Jason M. Carlton
Last month, we began a series on organizing your neighborhood to be able to work together in case of an emergency. (Part I: Organizing Blocks and Block Captains). This is part two of that series.
In light of recent events along the East Coast – Hurricane Irene and the earthquake in Virginia, our hearts go out to all those affected in the disasters. These types of events also serve as an important reminder about the swiftness and unpredictability of natural disasters.
September is National Preparedness Month, so we have tried to provide articles that will help families become a little more prepared. I would like to personally challenge everyone to take at least one preparedness item from this newsletter (i.e., color-coded cards, water storage, making a family plan, etc.) and focus on completing that one element of emergency preparedness.
Emergency preparedness isn’t something that should overwhelm you or put you in debt. It is most easily accomplished by starting in one area, completing that task, and moving to the next.
Share what you are going to focus on in September by posting it on Sun Ovens Facebook page. Here’s the link:
Jason M. Carlton
Color Codes Save Time
In an emergency, time is of the essence. The challenge is weeding out those who need immediate medical attention and those who need basic first-aid. If each household had three colored sheets of cardstock with their 72-hour kits, and if used properly, a lot of time can be saved in an emergency.
Immediately following a disaster, each household should evaluate their injuries and medical needs. Then, using the following descriptions of each color, place either a green, yellow or red sheet of cardstock on the front of their house where it can be easily seen from the street.
RED indicates an immediate need of attention – profuse bleeding, severe life-threatening injury, someone pinned in debris, etc.
YELLOW indicates a delayed need for attention – broken bone, minor cuts or abrasions, someone trapped in debris but not severely injured, etc.
GREEN indicates no need for medical attention or other immediate assistance.
While it is important to use the cards, it is almost more important the cards be used properly. A household using a RED card when the injury is a minor cut can delay responders reaching another household with greater medical needs. This triage system works effectively for the neighborhood only when it is used properly.
One of the ways neighborhoods can assure each resident has these colored sheets on-hand is by encouraging a local Boy Scout to center his Eagle Project around emergency preparedness. The distribution of these cards to each household can be part of that project
September 2011, Every Needful Thing Jason M. Carlton
Don’t Leave Home Without Your SunOven®
Evacuating with you Sun Oven® makes sense. Here’s why. You can pack it full of cold items to eat and drink in the shelter. They will stay cool for some time because of its insulated design. When the storm passes, you will be able to set up outside and make a welcomed hot meal. Don’t forget to take your WAPI kit to be able to pasteurize water, too.
October 2013, Every Needful Thing Billie A. Nicholson, editor
Many people consider a Sun Oven® an essential tool in their family emergency plans. A Sun Oven® will enable your family to be better prepared in the following ways:
- Water Purification – Pasteurize or boil drinking water.
- Food - Boil, bake or steam food. This is the most fuel efficient way to rehydrate freeze-dried and dehydrated foods.
- Food Storage - Create your own food storage by dehydrating fruits, vegetables, and meats.
- Fuel Storage - Decrease your need for fuel. It is difficult and dangerous to store a large amount of fuel for an extended period of time. Using the sun on sunny days and the Sun Oven® as a wonder box (or retained heat cooker) on cloudy days reduces the amount of fuel you need to store.
- First Aid - Heat water for cleaning wounds and personal hygiene & sterilize medical instruments.
The Sun Oven® in Action
September 2013, Every Needful Thing Billie A. Nicholson
They don’t call an event a disaster if there are no injuries! Get over the sight of blood or other injuries, your life or another’s may depend upon your First Aid Skills. We could make an entire newsletter containing First Aid lessons. In this issue, we’ll touch on some basics related to emergency preparedness and include some links for further study.
Immediately after an unpredicted or forewarned disaster, there are generally two types of response. One is Panic and the other is Normalcy Bias or Negative Panic.
Using these responses people are either running around screaming and maybe bleeding or just staying right where they were when the event occurred, in a state of disbelief. Both types of reactions are dangerous. People in panic mode can cause additional damage and injuries. People not responding can become participating victims by not responding to get away from the danger.
As difficult as it is to imagine bad things happening, we need to think about what kinds of events could happen in our homes and communities. Is your community subject to hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes? Do you know what accidents can happen and what can be done before help arrives?
What kind of accidents can happen in your home? Falls, cuts, electrical shocks, burns from explosions? Multiply that by a large number of people involved and it is easy to understand what pandemonium will be like. Now is the time to get out the First Aid book and assemble a First Aid Kit. A few basic items can make a big difference in survival.
The proper response is to quickly evaluate personal danger and respond accordingly. Only when you know that you are okay and will not be in danger while assisting others, can you be of value. Many fatalities occur because victims received help too late or because people on the scene administering first aid didn’t know what to do. During an emergency situation, often there are more injured people than helpers, so helpers should establish the priority of victims to aid first.
When you find a victim, check for a response. Ask “Are you OK?” and whatever other actions make sense, like touching. If there is no response, send or call for help. These are the 4 B’s of First Aid:
- Breathing – are they? Includes airway obstruction and breathing impairment
- Bleeding – covers circulation and deadly bleeding
- Breaks – includes all bones, including spine and skull
- Burns – bad ones turn into blisters filled with fluid that isn’t in the blood where it belongs
First Aid kits for home use can be procured in a variety of stores from big box to pharmacies. When you get your purchase home, open it and review the contents. Make sure your kit includes tweezers that actually grasp, hydrocortisone cream for itching insect bites, pain relievers, gauze and tape, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, allergy medications as well as assorted sizes of bandages.
Next, before an emergency event occurs, take time to learn some basic techniques. MedicineNet.com has online first aid essentials slide shows with photos and explanations. Local Red Cross chapters and most volunteer fire departments offer training. Community colleges also offer EMT and paramedic training. Community emergency response teams (CERTs) are in need of volunteers and will provide the necessary training to teach members how to assist in a disaster until other help arrives.
September 2013, Every Needful Thing Billie A. Nicholson