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The Best First Aid Kit for College

This past month, my daughter, Keilie, and I got to spend some time together touring the campus of her number one college choice: BYU-Idaho.  Just the two of us, for an entire week, learning all we could about all facets of college life– does it get any better than that?  No, no it does not!

While there, not only did we experience milling students, tons of walking, and classes taught in actual classrooms, Keilie got a pretty severe stomach ache on the third day.  So much so, I had to rush out to the nearest convenient store for some over-the-counter medication.

While looking for the correct medication to help her stomach ache, I started to realize that we weren’t quite prepared for a few other illnesses, should they come up.  Having spent many cancer care years with a basic pharmacy in my purse, I was a little taken aback realizing I wasn’t prepared at all while being away from home for just one week.

This line of thought had me thinking deeper: If we found ourselves unprepared for this one week, think how much more unprepared she could be during her college career.  Being one that likes to have things under control and well thought out, I came home and researched.  While Keilie was excitedly talking about new, chic bedding, organization and kitchen gadgets, and hopefully sharing a room with a friend, I started looking for something- an all-in-one list or kit, maybe- that could better prepare her for the illnesses that are to be expected as much as class syllabuses.

One kit spoke to me on many levels.  1) The name of the kit is: The College Student First Aid Kit.  Perfect!  2) It is designed by Beth Palmer Stewart, a Nurse Practitioner that has worked in the field for over 25 years.  I love that kind of experience!  And, 3) Her recent work on college campus clinics has given her insider knowledge of the illnesses and injuries that many college kids are unprepared to care for.  As soon as I read the words, Making College Life… Healthier, Safer, and Smarter, that was it– I bought one for her car, and one for her dorm.

My first thought, upon opening the shipping packaging, was how sturdy the materials are for both kits.  The plastic of the Premium Kit does not feel cheap, nor does the zipper and canvas of the Travel Kit.  I first opened the Travel Kit.

I literally gasped!  I love that it has a hanger, so you can easily hook it for convenience of view and accessibility.  I could easily see Keilie hanging it from either the trunk or a headrest without worrying about keeping it balanced on her knees.  My next thought was how nice everything looked in the mesh.  I love how you can see most everything upon first glance.

As I pulled everything out to see what was included, I loved that everything had been organized into categories within the mesh compartments.  It also felt like I kept grabbing more and more, it was so well stocked.  Seeing how well this was stocked made me more excited to open the Premium Kit that she’ll keep with her in her dorm room.  What else would be added?!

I love that this case is clear.  I love that you can see clearly what is in the top and around the bottom of the case.  I also love that you can tell the difference between this and a fisherman’s tackle box.  This separates it, puts it into its own category.  And like all things sterile and hospital, I like that it looks clean and fresh being tidy and white.

If I liked how it looked being closed, it was nothing to the excitement seeing it open!

Being a lover of all-things organized, you can imagine the tiny squeal of giddiness that escaped my lips.  Look at how beautiful that is!

Like the Travel Kit, this one had things organized by categories.  The bandaids are with the antibiotic ointment, the pain medications are in one place, and the gauze, tape and bandages tucked neatly down in the bottom left.  This kit has it all!

I know I am not alone when I say that it’s easy to think about books, rent, food, clothes, and other such supplies, but how often to we consider sprains, soar throats, or splinters until they happen?  Rather than rush out to pay top dollar for something right now, why not be prepared with this all-in-one, mom-approved, portable medicine cabinet!  My love of check-marks has me ridiculously happy that I found another thing to put on my list at the exact moment I could check it off.

College is a stressful time in a parent’s life.  We all hope we’ve taught them well and equipped them with all of the physical and metaphorical tools to prepare them for real life.  These kits make me feel just a bit more ready to send my baby off to begin her first years away from my home.  As Lisa Valentine Clark says in her book, Real Moms, when she compared motherhood to a marathon, “Isn’t that what we do?  Teach them to run on ahead without us.”

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