Creating a First Aid Kit

First Aid Basics

Mother puts bandage on her daughter's elbow
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In any emergency, a family member or you yourself may be cut, burned, or suffer other injuries. If you have these basic supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt. Remember, many injuries are not life threatening and do not require immediate medical attention. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.

First Aid Kit Essentials

  • Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Burn ointment to prevent infection.
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
  • Nonstick Sterile Pads: these are soft, super absorbent pads that provide a good environment for wound healing. These are recommended for bleeding and draining wounds, burns, infections.
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
  • Thermometer
  • Ice pack
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine, and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies or a nebulizer machine.

Things it may be good to have:

  • Cell Phone
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tongue depressor blades
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Blanket
  • Water
  • Ready to eat foods
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • CPR Mask

Non-prescription drugs:

  • Pain and fever reducers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • Anti-itch medications, like hydrocortisone cream
  • An antihistamine, like Benadryl, for allergic reactions
  • Laxative

Adapted from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

And if you don't feel comfortable building your own first aid kit, there are many prepackaged first aid kits that you can buy, such as the:

  • Easy Care Comprehensive First Aid Kit
  • First Aid Only All Purpose First Aid Kit
  • First Aid Only Professional Series, First Aid and Survival Kit
  • Cramer Coach's Team First Aid Kit

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