Monday, January 18, 2010

First Aid Kit for Runners

I've posted on safety for runners in previous posts. I've mentioned safety tips such as posting your routes on the fridge or on a calendar so your friends and loved ones will know where you're going and on what days. I've suggested sharing (with those who need to know) your expected duration time or your estimated return time. I've mentioned keeping a cell phone with you, especially if you're running trails by yourself. I've mentioned not running trails by yourself if you can help it. All of these are good tips to heed and will definitely help others keep track of you, if you don't eventually show back up.

But, what if you or someone you're running with gets hurt while on the run? Will you be prepared? If you haven't already, I highly recommend you take the Red Cross CPR and First Aid training. The training doesn't cost that much and in an afternoon of training, you'll have most of the basics in case someone in your running group gets hurt. To keep current, the CPR training has to be renewed each year, but the first aid only has to be renewed every three years. If you work for a large company, check with HR, often they will provide training for "first responders" on each floor or for each department.

When you're running the greenway or the trails with your buddy or your running group and you're miles away from your neighborhood, it's a good idea for someone (if not more than one of you) to have a Runner's First Aid Kit. No, you won't be running with it, but having it in one of your cars is better than not having one at all.

So, what should go in your kit? I recommend you purchase the basic Red Cross First Aid Kit. You can order one online at the Red Cross Store or you can purchase one at your local Red Cross chapter. The Red Cross suggests that whether you buy a first aid kit or put one together yourself, make sure it has all the items you may need. Include any personal items for you or other runners in your group such as medications and emergency phone numbers or other items your health-care provider may suggest. Check the kit regularly. Make sure the flashlight batteries work. Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents.

The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the items below. So, modify your running kit accordingly depending on the number of runners in your group.

Basic First Aid Kit for 4 People

  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 blanket (space blanket)
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
  • Scissors
  • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet
Now that you have your first aid kit, you need a plan of action. Talk with your running buddies about what to do if there is an injury while on the run. Who is going to be the runner back to the car? Who might be the one to carry the cell phone on those really long runs? Talk it out. You can never be too prepared for an emergency.

Your running route is another thing to consider when being safety conscious. If you're running route is fairly short then an out-and-back is probably fine, but if it's a long run (10 to 20 miles) a looping-back route (one that has you looping back by your car a few times) is a better choice. This is of great help if someone gets injured, because you won't have as far to go to get back to your car for your phone and first aid kit. Also, planning your route so that it goes through or near residential areas is a good idea, in case you need access to help or a phone to call for help.

So, do a little safety planning, and hopefully you'll never need to use it. But, if you do, you'll be prepared!


Concord Carpenter said...

Great post!

Its always prudent to have a contingency plan if something happens.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Concord Carpenter! Thanks man! Yep, Murphy's Law. Have a backup plan and you'll probably never need it. Don't have one and you'll for sure wish you had. LOL!

runcharlotterun said...

Adventure Medical Kits makes good "light and fast" first aid kits that are small enough to fit into a fanny pack. I carry one in my dorky fanny pack when I run trails and have been glad I had it more than once.

RunnerDude said...

Hey runcharlotterun! That's awesome iformation! Thanks! I'll check it out!

Unknown said...

Great info RunnerDude!

RunnerDude said...

Thanks Noah!

The Boring Runner said...

Shouldn't the kit include Vodka... you know... to sterilize? At least wine or something. :)

RunnerDude said...

Hi Adam! That falls under "personal items" you're supposed to include. ;-)

the Huneycutt House said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great time to plug Road ID or Yikes ID. I don't leave the house without it, and recommended it to a brother-in-law who is retired with health issues and walks every day. At least a starting point if they find you on the pavement.

firts aid training said...

Brilliant post!I really appreciate your blogs because I'm a runner and compete in our community.Your medical first aid will be useful if I experience trouble while running.

Unknown said...

It is better to be prepared for any kinds of accidents, which can happen outdoors such as falls, cuts, insect bites, etc. Before leaving, you must ensure that all your family members are well-acquainted with the contents of your travel First aid kit.

First aid training London said...

As a runner and a first aid instructor, i find this is very helpful information.