While you are doing that spring cleaning around the barn make spring maintenance time for your emergency supplies. Before your riding season begins to crank up, make time now to check through your first aid kit. At least once a year your medical supplies should be thoroughly examined.
Begin with a good cleaning of your first aid kit container itself. If you are lucky and haven’t had to use your kit for some time, it will probably have collected a good covering of dust.
When the time comes that you will really need to use that kit, it should be clean and free of dirt and debris, which might contaminate your aseptic supplies and / or the area where you will need to operate from in treating a wound or illness.
If you own a hard sided kit give it a good cleaning with warm water and detergent. If you have a soft sided kit empty it out and wash it in your washing machine.
A thorough examination of each of your medical supplies should be your next move. Make sure that all of your bandaging supplies are clean and dry, and that you still have plenty of each type and size.
Bandage supplies should be stored in clean and functional zip lock bags. Start yourself a quick shopping list at this point and be sure to start jotting down any supplies which you find might need to be replaced or restocked. As well, consider if there are other and new supplies or equipment which you might want to augment your kit with. Write these items down on your list also.
Check all of your liquid supplies, especially if they might have been subjected to freezing conditions over the winter. Certain supplies might have expanded in cold conditions and leaked, or some plastic containers might even crack or split losing valuable product.
Frozen liquid supplies can also be forced over the top of a closed and seal bottle and spill out into your container. Be sure to check all ointments for signs of cold weather effects or spoilage.
At least once a year it is imperative to check your “out of date” ranges that will have been placed on the product by the manufacturer. These dates are important and should be closely observed. You will want your medical supplies to be fresh and virulent when you need them. Replace any thing that is beyond it’s out of date stamp, and throw away and dispose of old supplies properly.
Now is the time to decide if your emergency supplies are adequate for the number of horses you own, and the use you make of your equine companions. Inventory all of your supplies, and decide if you need to augment them with a greater numbers of items, and more sophisticated supplies and equipment.
A good handy first aid book or guide should be at the top of your list, if you don’t already have one in or near your first aid kit. EquiMedic USA highly recommends Dr. Eleanor Kellon’s “First Aid for Horses” book. It has color coordinated sections, is well organized, spiral bound, a great size to fit in with your supplies, and readily gives you the information you need without a lot of fluff.
Other additional or optional supplies you may want to consider adding to your medical supplies if you don’t already have them, would include a stethoscope, digital thermometer, adequate bandage scissors, a pill crusher, a good poultice product, and a sharps disposal container for your used needles and disposable blades.
If you have begun your first aid kit with meager supplies and a tight budget, make yourself a promise to augment those supplies at least once a year with at least a couple of new items, so that you can grow your first aid kit into an adequate tool to service your horse’s needs.
Your equine first aid kit is as essential of an investment as any of your horse equipment, and should be considered as your best investment in keeping your horse safe and healthy. At EquiMedic USA we believe that being prepared is the first step towards having the right mind set towards keeping your horses healthier and safer from harm and injury.
EquiMedic USA offers seven complete equine first kits, all of which include some first aid supplies for riders and handlers. EquiMedic USA first aid kits are sized to the number of horses you own. We also offer the ability to create your own first aid kit, and offer all of our supplies as refill and restocking supplies as well as offering over 70 optional items for your first aid needs. Visit our web site at: www.equimedic.com for all of your horse and rider first aid needs.