By Kimberly Miller
The following post is meant only for informational purposes and should not be taken as medical advice. It is highly recommended that you do your own research and consult with a medical professional if necessary.
In discussions on preparedness, it is always a good idea to give some thought to medical emergency situations. Having the skills, supplies, and knowledge to deal with a health emergency could mean the difference between life and death for a member of the family. Knowing how to deal with such a situation is an invaluable asset and could be of service not only to your own family, but also to others within your community.
Of course, we are all familiar with the need for skills such as CPR and other basic first aid. But how many of us actually have these skills ourselves? And are there other important skills that can be helpful to have acquired in the occurrence of a medical emergency where no other help is available? It is wise to give some thought to this matter and put some time into planning for the event of a situation where we might be called upon to use some of these skills.
It is also wise to take responsibility for our own health and the health of our families rather than completely depending on a system of care that may not always be available or desirable. One thing many of us have learned over the past couple of years is the importance of doing our research and taking full responsibility for any decisions we may be required to make regarding our health care choices. Even within the medical community, there are differences of thought and philosophy with regard to medical decisions and it is always wise to follow up and use due diligence in such a significant matter as the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our families.
Another aspect of this to consider is the availability of and access to various types of medical care in the future. As discussed in previous articles in this series regarding food supply chains and other necessities, medical care is an area where it is a good idea to have alternative options available in the event when normal avenues are not accessible.
Homeschool families have a unique opportunity to include the acquiring of these skills in our homeschooling program and curriculum. As families, we can learn together and benefit one another and our communities, as well as helping our children gain knowledge that can serve them well for decades to come.
What skills should we learn in order to be prepared to handle such an emergency situation? At a minimum, the ability to perform basic first aid care is essential. Training and certification in CPR is also extremely important and could quite possibly be lifesaving. Beyond that, CMT or paramedic training is an excellent option for helping deal with a broad range of medical emergencies. This type of training is much more time and labor intensive, of course, but could prove invaluable and is something to consider receiving or providing for your homeschooling teens and young adults if circumstances allow.
Knowledge and understanding of home remedies and herbal medicine is an area that is more accessible to a wider range of people. There is much information available on these types of health care and support. Study in the area of herbal and plant medicine and old-fashioned home remedies could prove to be a tremendous boost to your family’s health and wellbeing. Consider doing some research, read books, attend classes, learn from experts, and watch videos and other trainings on herbs and supplements. God has created so many wonderful plants that have medicinal value and can serve so many useful purposes. It is helpful to learn as much as possible about these as your time and interest will allow. Glean what you can from others who are knowledgeable and become so as well, if at all possible.
Some wonderful sources of plant-based health support are:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Aloe Vera
- Essential oils
Learn what these are and how to use them and you will be well equipped for many minor health situations that may arise for your family.
Along with these skills, it is also important to study to understand how the immune system works and how the healing process takes place so that you can do your best so support both whenever the need might arise. In addition, it is a good idea to understand how to support good health through proper nutrition and to provide yourself and your family with adequate rest. Do your research and learn about these essential areas for good health.
What essential supplies are important to have on hand for an emergency situation? At the very least, have a well stocked first aid kit that includes the basics of bandages in various sizes, first aid tape, antibiotic ointment, eyewash, hand sanitizer, hot/cold pack, tourniquet, tweezers, thermometer, disposable gloves, cotton swabs, and antihistamine such as Benadryl. In addition to these supplies, other important items to have on hand would be: aloe vera gel, apple cider vinegar, activated charcoal, hydrogen peroxide, and rubbing alcohol.
If you are interested in doing more research and working toward becoming more prepared in this area, I would highly recommend the book Just in Case by Kathy Harrison. Another excellent resource is Survival Medicine by Thomas Coyne. The Prepper’s Medical Handbook by William Forgey and Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook by David Werner are also thorough and helpful books to consider.
Kimberly Miller is the mother of nine children and has been homeschooling them for over twenty years. She has served HOME for almost fifteen years as the Publications Coordinator and a Regional Representative. In addition to those roles, Kimberly is also a freelance editor and a published author of several books, both fiction and nonfiction. In her spare time, she loves reading good books, sipping tea, working in her garden, and enjoying the animals on her family’s hobby farm in Western Maine.