At the office you could suffer a paper cut or whopping headache. Small issues that the company’s first aid kit can handle comfortably. At home you need to bump up the contents of your first aid kit with some plasters, burn treatments for kitchen accidents and meds for the occasional tummy bug that will bounce around your family. But when you’re hitting a trail on a mountain bike at 30km an hour, or pounding the pavement for at least 10 hours a week, your first aid kit needs upgrading. We’ve hunted down some of the coolest “medical” gear you need to add to that box with a cross.
Instant chemical cold packs
Up for a quick science lesson? There’s no need to stick close to a freezer to get hold of a cold pack – these innovations only need a gentle squeeze and they begin to cool down. This is thanks to a smart chemical reaction going on inside. Cold packs can help minimise swelling around an injury, reduce bleeding into the tissues, and decrease muscle spasm and pain. Most of the pain is caused by inflammation, so if you bring down the swelling, you reduce the pain. Bingo! Reduce the bleeding into the tissues, you’ll prevent a mega bruise from forming. To use a cold pack effectively, apply it to the area of injury for a maximum of 20 minutes, checking every few minutes that the skin remains pink.
It comes in a compact and handy aerosol spray and seriously honks! But if you’ve come into close contact with the dirt after a tumble off a bike, a smelly application of Yunnan Baiyao is nothing to sniff at. It may not have oodles of research behind it to prove its efficacy, but anecdotes from dozens of mountain warriors back it up. Its makers reveal the main ingredients are Sanqi (roots of panax Notogensing) and Rhizoma Dioscoreae, but otherwise its formula is a closely guarded secret. We know it invigorates the circulation to promote healing and contains an antiseptic.
Spray on plasters
Hands up who hates ripping plasters off hairy legs! Or having to replace a soggy plaster after you’ve hit the shower? And what about trying to apply one in a difficult-to-reach spot? Spray on plasters are literally the bomb. The sprayed-on film is flexible, waterproof and transparent. It’ll last a few days so doesn’t need to reapplied. Win.
It’s super light and compact, so there really shouldn’t be a reason you don’t add one to your backpack or the pockets where you stuff your riding goo. If you get stuck off the beaten track, hypothermia is your biggest risk. A space blanket will keep the chill at bay until you can find help, or it finds you. Bonus? They can be used as a sling or support if you break a bone. Yup, these things happen… Be prepared for them.
WIN a First Aid kit!
You could stand the chance to win a First Aid Kit. To enter answer the following question and email your answer with your name, physical address and contact number to [email protected]. The competition ends on 30 June 2017 (T&Cs apply).
QUESTION: What is one benefit of a spray on plaster?