If you have a bike/bikes in your garage that get used, having a first aid kit designed to deal with bike related injuries is practical. Don’t you think? So do you have one? A first aid kit for bike injuries doesn’t have to be huge just easy to access and ready when you most need it. This means that 10 times out of 10 it should be with you on your big day rides or family rides.
Every family has a story of the “best” one. The accident that left everyone cringing or the near miss where you are sighing with relief. We have a few in our family but the most memorial are
- the combination of a pre-schooler & a speed bump resulting in a badly split upper lip and a lot of blood
- a pre-teen not making the top of a rise, tipping backwards off the track into a fallen tree and fortunately impaling her t-shirt (not her body) on a broken branch
WHEN should you take a bike first aid kit?
Well the choice is yours. It may depend on the type of riding you or your family enjoy to do the most and the level that you push yourselves to. If I’m going anywhere with the kids that I consider slightly remote (in kid distances) I will carry a small first aid kit with me. This includes into any mountain bike parks. Small kits are so light and worth having immediately when kids need them. It’s a magic water kind of trick where a plaster or a sterile wipe can make a world of difference.
For myself, anything that takes me over an hour “out” on an off road/mountain bike track. Especially if vehicle access is difficult.
HOW should I carry a bike first aid kit?
Here are some ideas for small, compact, day or simple overnight kits;
- in a packback/hydration bag
- in a seat bag that goes under a seat
- handlebar bags are ideal as they give quick access
- frame bags that attach inside the triangles your frame makes
- in the car at the end of the track. There is obvious risk with this choice but it does mean your kit can be bigger than what you would comfortably carry. We recommend carrying a small kit and keeping extra’s in the car especially if your family/riding group is bigger than 2-3 people
Examples of what a Bike First Aid Kit could be used for;
- bleeding knees
- gravel in hands/knees
- split lips
- bee stings
- broken bones – usually wrist or collarbone
- scratches, cuts
- prickles depending on what bush/tree/gorse they landed on
- dust, insects, branches in eyes
A basic day/simple overnight kit should include
- anti-bacterial/sterile wipes
- plasters of varying sizes
- adhesive & non-adhesive dressings
- wound dressing
- tweasers/splinter probe
- eye wash/wound irrigation
- triangular bandage
- crepe bandages
- gloves, safety pins, cotton buds
- emergency blanket (if it’s an overnight trip, one for everyone in the group)
Broken bones and concussion can happen with bike accidents. If you have any concerns take them to your doctor or accident clinic immediately.
Warning signs of concussion include headaches, tiredness, memory loss, confusion, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, sensitivity to light or noise.
At home waiting…
At an absolute minimum have some kind of biking first aid kit ready to deal with injuries as the cyclists in your family arrive home. Ideally what you would have at home waiting is a refill kit so that if you do need to use some products in your mobile kit you have spares to fill up the gaps. This avoids those situations where you grab for the kit to find everything you want gone!!
My last piece of advice involves knowledge – choose to know what to do. Life with a bike can be amazing but like everything it may throw you some terrible moments where a clear head would be appreciated. Having quick access to first aid supplies and knowing how to use them on your ‘patient’ is a step in the right direction.
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