Sunday, March 2, 2014

Safety--The Ghost Hunter's 1st Aid Kit

In this continuing series of articles relating to safety and paranormal investigating, I wanted to talk a little bit about a very important piece of the ghost hunter's tool kit:  the first aid kit.  A well stocked first aid kit is a must-have for any investigator, whether they are investigating a private residence, an outdoor location, or a creepy old abandoned building.  Unfortunately, this rather mundane item is sometimes overlooked or forgotten...until it is needed.  A properly stocked first aid kit can save your investigation from being ruined by a small, uncomfortable inconvenience, but in rare circumstances, it may also save a life.

Needs will change based on the location of the investigation and members of the group, but I've compiled just a VERY basic checklist of items to consider for your own kit. There are plenty of sites out there that will help you put together basic to comprehensive general first aid kits, or where you can buy a pre-made kit (Adventure Medical Kits has some AWESOME but PRICEY selections) but I've tried to include items that would be of an especially useful nature to a paranormal investigator on location.   Please note that I am not a medical professional...just someone who has found herself out in the middle of nowhere, covered in poison ivy a time or two!

First Aid Kit Checklist:

  • Various sized adhesive bandages
  • Gauze pads
  • Anti-bacterial or alcohol wipes
  • Neosporin or other antibiotic cream
  • Gloves
  • Antihistamine tablets, such as Benadryl
  • Cough drops
  • 81 mg aspirin
  • Aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.
  • Antacid tablets and/or Pepto tablets
  • Hydrocortisone ointment (or any rash, bug bite, poison ivy cream/itch relief spray or cream)
  • Scissors
  • Medical Tape
  • Elastic bandages
  • Cold pack
  • Tweezers
  • Space Blanket
  • Burn cream
  • Quik-Clot
  • Snake-bite kit
  • Hard candies
  • 1st aid manual

Preventative Measures and Other Considerations:

  • Having a team member who is a doctor, nurse, EMT, or is otherwise a trained medical professional is an added benefit to any group.
  • Consider having everyone on the team become certified in basic CPR/1st aid.  Classes are available for a nominal fee through a number of organizations, including the Red Cross.  
  • Make sure everyone is current on their tetanus shots!
  • Know your own physical limitations and don't push them; regular check-ups with your family physician are recommended.
  • Make sure that your team leader knows of any medical issues you might have, such as low blood sugar, epilepsy, asthma, etc...and how to recognize and deal with the issue should it arise.
  • If you require an inhaler, an epi-pen, or other medication, make sure you have it with you, and that at least one other person on the team knows where to access it and how to help you administer it if needed.
  • Do a thorough walk through of the location in good lighting and mark off any areas that may be a safety hazard.
  • Dress appropriately for your location; long pants and sleeves, and sturdy, closed-toe shoes are always recommended.
  • Respirator masks are recommended for indoor investigations where mold, asbestos, and animal droppings may be a problem.
  • If you're going to be outside, invest in bug spray!

Happy and Safe Hunting!
Check out my first article in the safety series:  Getting Permission to Investigate

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