Since the election of Donald Trump as the 45 president of the United States, women all over the world have made moves to mobilize, and bring grievances to the nation's capitol (and state capitols across the country) in a way that can't be ignored. And while events taking place across the country, are advertising themselves to be kid-friendly and peaceful, organizers can't control everything, and there is a chance that things could get aggressive, or even violent, especially if rival groups end up going head to head. Because of this, and because you should be prepared for whatever happens, it's important that you put together a list of first aid items to bring to the Women's March, just in case things begin to go awry.
Of course, you shouldn't let the idea of possible clashes stop you from attending what is slated to be a historical day for this country, and an important one for women everywhere.
The Women's March on Washington was born from the idea that Americans ought voice their concerns about the potential issues with the incoming presidency without fear, and has since blossomed into a global movement that will take the nation by storm the day after Trump's inauguration. On Jan 21, at least 200,000 participants are expected to arrive in Washington, DC and march alongside one another in order to show the world that we can't be stopped, and we won't quit fighting for justice, peace, and inequality. It's a controversial topic, but in the grand scheme of things, it shouldn't be.
With all that in mind, make sure you have the following in your bag (no bigger than 8" x 6" x 4", according to march guidelines):
Yes, the march will be taking place in D.C. in January, and it will probably be a bit chilly, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't hydrate yourself. The march isn't that long, but with large crowds, speakers, and more, it's crucial that you take care of yourself while you're participating. There are, as mentioned, regulations on bags that are allowed into the march, so make sure you check those out before packing up. Whatever the rules, though, try and bring at least one bottle of water to ensure you don't get dehydrated.
Bandages & Antibiotic Ointments
Of course, the classic first aid staple is an important item to have on hand at any time, but especially when you don't know what the day's events have in store. Even if nothing bad happens at the march, having bandages and antibiotic ointments is smart for little things like blisters, paper cuts, or in case you fall down.
While it may not seem like a necessity, skin and lips can become very dry in the winter, specially when you're spending numerous hours outside in the cold. Bring some extra lip balm in case you lose one, or a friend needs some. Cracked, dry lips may not be an emergency, but they are painful. You can also opt to bring multi-tasking moisturizers that soothe lips and other skin areas.
Hand & Foot Warmers
Again, D.C. in January is known to be quite chilly, so protecting yourself from the elements is crucial. Bring hand warmers, along with gloves, to add an extra layer of protection, and if things get unruly, you'll have a few extra hours of warmth to protect you in case you can't get inside. If you think you'll need them, you can bring toe-warmers as well (or opt for thicker socks or boots).
Obviously, clean hands are important. So, even if things go as normally as can be expected, you won't be amiss for packing some antibacterial hand wipes. However, if things do get ugly, hand wipes can also be used to clean wounds and work to stop any infection from spreading. Check the box before purchasing to make sure you can use your chosen brand as a multi-tasker.
Pain Relievers & Other Medications You May Need
You might already have a specially designated bottle of ibuprofen in your purse to help relieve the cramps and backache that appear once a month. If not, though, throw some into your purse or bag for the march. Some pain killers can help with fever, and if things do get out of hand, the pills can help with any injuries on site. Make sure to also pack any other medications you think you may need or ones you take daily, just in case. Pill cases can be easily obtained at drugstores (to save room), or you can use a dry, empty contact lens case in a pinch.
Tampons Or Pads
Of course, you also probably have a couple on hand at all times, but if you don't it's a good idea to bring some with you. Even if you're not expecting your period anytime soon, as Channing Tatum taught us all in She's the Man, tampons also make a great first aid item, especially for nose bleeds. If nothing else, it's always nice to have an extra sanitary item in case someone else needs one. Swoop in and save the day.
Goggles, Vinyl Or Rubber Gloves, Handkerchiefs
Of course, none of us want the march to become violent, aggressive, or an arena for police brutality, there is a chance that this could happen. And if force, especially pepper spray or tear gas, is used against demonstrators, the above mentioned items should be the first thing you pull out. They'll protect your hands, face, and eyes, and should help stop the spray from absorbing into your skin.
Glasses Or Extra Contacts
Note that if you do get tear-gas or pepper spray in your eyes, you'll need to remove your contacts, if you wear them, or your glasses, and rinse your eyes out with water or saline as quickly as possible. (Try not to use milk, as experts have warned, as it's not sterile.) After you've thoroughly rinsed your eyes and skin, you'll want to either wash out your glasses or put a new pair on. If you're a contact-wearer, have a new pair handy or, as mentioned, have glasses in your bag instead.
While the Women's March on Washington shouldn't get too out of hand, it never hurts to be prepared. Keep this list handy when packing your bag, just in case.