Heimlich Heroes Blog


Feb 27, 2020

Prep for a Car Emergency

Winter is the perfect time to learn how to respond in certain emergencies. For example, do you have a survival kit in your car in case you get stuck on the road, or the car breaks down with nothing close by? Add:

  • A metal coffee can or the like
  • 5-10 tea light candles
  • Stick matches in a waterproof container
  • Extra bottles of water
  • Some protein or energy bars or high energy snacks

The water is important for hydration, and of course the food for sustenance. But, did you know that if you put the tea light in the tin can and light it, it will help keep you warm in cold climates and give you light. Crack the window or door on occasion to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Also, a simple First Aid Kit with a manual in the car is essential.

Most manuals describe various treatments and how to do CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver. It’s a good idea to review this at least once a year.



You can buy a ready-made kit or make your own with an old lunch box or toolbox. At a minimum, include the following:

  • Alcohol swabs or wipes
  • Band-Aids of various sizes
  • Gauze pads (in a pinch a sanitary napkin would also work)
  • Medical Tape
  • Small pair of scissors or a knife
  • Tweezers
  • Instant Cold Pack
  • Anti-Bacterial Ointment
  • Elastic bandage
  • Pain Relievers including aspirin and non-aspirin relief (note: it is important that kids under the age of 18 not take aspirin as it increases the risk of Reye’s Syndrome).

The pain relievers will have an expiration date, so be sure to look at this each year as you review the manual and the contents. And always replace band-aids and other consumables once used.

Don’t eat or allow eating in the car unless you are parked.

One bump in the road, one laugh, one inhale could cause food to go down the “wrong pipe” and cause a choking emergency. Look at this story from Traverse City, Michigan:


Years ago, as crazy as it sounds, I had a friend who almost drowned in the front seat of my car. She took a drink of water – just as someone in the back seat said something funny – and suddenly I heard gurgling. I looked over and saw she was struggling to breathe, pulled the car over and made sure she was okay before we went on. She got out of the car and bent over toward her toes to allow gravity to work with her. She coughed out as much of the water as she could. The water had gone into her lungs because she had inhaled to laugh at the same time she took a drink. It took several weeks before she stopped coughing and was fortunate it did not turn into pneumonia. She did go to the doctor and she was okay.

Things like this just happen so fast!

Be sure to review the directions of the Heimlich Maneuver® and CPR® annually. You can watch videos from Heimlich Heroes and American Heart Association on these topics.

You never know when you’ll need to save a life! Prepare now.


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