I was cleaning the car the other day and I checked the compartment that holds a small first aid kit. We’ve had the vehicle about eight years and it was second hand when we bought it (2001 model), so guess that makes it fifteen years old.

Sadly I can’t remember if I checked the first aid kit when I bought it, so I had to take a look.

It had bandages of all shapes and sizes, tweezers, scissors, swabs, ointments and even rubber gloves. A basic kit that has a great little quick reference booklet produced by St John,

We must have added some pain relief tablets and some off the shelf hay fever treatments and anti histamines. But unfortunately a couple of the ointments and pills were out of date and I couldn’t see dates on the bandages, so things will be replaced as required.

I’m not a medical expert or haven’t done a first aid course, but after checking the reference guide and using a bit of common sense, I would have been able to treat an injury fairly well until we sought professional treatment.

We also have a newer, bigger first aid kit in our caravan that I know is up to date. But, what if I figured there’s one in the back of the 4WD, so that’ll do, or on those rare occasions when I take a hike, I only pack a band aid and some water … not good enough, just ask any snake!

The good old Aussies attitude of “she’ll be right” probably doesn’t count here. A first aid kit is like insurance, you never know when and if you’ll need it, so it’s better to have a good one and learn some basics before you set off on a journey.

We as a nation, are travelling more and it’s putting an extra strain on hospitals, medical centres and doctors.

Face it, as you get older, things will go wrong, so be prepared.

Get a complete check up before you leave (you don’t have to be grey).

Please make sure your kit is up to date and take all the medicines that have been prescribed plus any doctor’s notes on existing conditions.

And … it’s probably a good idea to do a first aid course, I know I am.

Safe Travelling!