School Bus First Aid Kits
First aid kits are a standard feature on school buses continent-wide. While that basic white box with the Red Cross on the front is a familiar and welcome symbol, seeing a first aid kit in place is not enough to guarantee that a school bus is well-equipped.
A recent accident in Florida brought home the fact that the simple presence of a first aid kit is no indication of its contents and their usefulness. In this particular case, people rushing to help a young bicyclist hit by a school bus found that the busís first aid kit contained rotten gauze that disintegrated in their hands.
This situation raises questions about school bus safety checks and the effectiveness of inspections that merely verify the bus has a sealed kit on board. With no expiry date and no way to tell how long any particular kit has been in place, officials canít judge the soundness of a first aid kit. In light of this, some school boards are already taking steps.
Tracking kits is one way to ensure that they donít outstay their shelf life. Officials can monitor when a kit is installed on a bus and also make record of the disposal of expired kits. Another way to ensure the safety and effectiveness of first aid kits is to conduct random checks of their contents - making sure all the necessary features are inside and opening some of the individual packages to make sure theyíre in good shape.
In Florida it was the gauze that went bad, a serious concern, since school bus kits generally contain several gauze pads and bandages. There are other items contained in the kit that could also degrade with the passage of time, including adhesive strips or tape, eye pads, CPR face shields and ointments.
As school and transport safety officials have begun to realize, having well-stocked first aid kits on school buses is not enough. The best stocked kit in the world isnít any good if the contents have outlived their usefulness - only organized first aid kit tracking and more thorough inspections can ensure a safe and effective kit.
About the Author: Steve Larson is a volunteer firefighter who is passionate about saving lives. This led him to take a freelance writing position for firstaid101.com Ė which offers information about first aid, antiseptics and CPR Kits.