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Monday, August 11, 2014

What You Need in a First Aid Kit for Surfing and Paddleboarding

After a couple of nasty injuries acquired recently from surfing and paddleboarding, I realized that it is seriously important to have a decent first aid kit.  So before you head out for your next gnarly session, make sure you have a surfing first aid kit with these essentials.

Courtesy of my good friend, surfing buddy, and personal doctor, Sina Kasraeian, the bare minimum for a first aid kit for those of us practicing the extreme water sports is:

  • bounced off the rocks at Matanza, cut to the bone...
    Nonstick Gauze Pads - to stop bleeding
  • Sterile Saline / Contact Solution - to clean wounds out
  • Turkey Baster / Suction Bulb - to flush wounds with saline or hydrogen peroxide
  • Butterfly Bandages - only use these to close wounds that were not caused or exposed to marine water.  New research suggests leaving wounds open to drain out any marine bacteriophage.
  • Iodine Wipes - help control infection
  • Duct Tape - for wound closure, dressing placement, and temporary ding repair!. I have a friend who was fishing 60 miles off the coast when his catch bit him.  He duct taped his wound until he could get to an ER room.  
  • 20140723_223228.jpg
    hit by my own board...
    Hand Sanitizer - to clean your hands before you administer first aid
  • Vinegar / Lemon Juice / Urine - flush jellyfish stings and rashes
  • Hemorrhoid cream - jellyfish stings
  • Benadryl - to help reactions to jellyfish stings and rashes
  • Cold Compress - control swelling, bruises, and rashes
  • Water - hydration. Many of us play in the ocean with no access to clean drinking water. Dehydration can cause an athlete serious problems like cramps and fatigue.
  • Cliff Bar (helps maintains energy if you get hungry or cold) Sometime our sport takes us to remote locations where access to  food is limited. Always nice to have an emergency back up energy bar.
  • Sunscreen - the glare from the water alone can give twice the burn of regular sun exposure.

The most important aspect of first aid is knowing where your closest and most reliable emergency room is to where you are.  

Injuries happen. With the supplies mentioned in this kit you will be prepared for minor injuries and for major injuries, should give you enough time to find a doctor!