A Guide to Putting Together Your First Aid Kit

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A well-stocked first aid kit is your first line of defense against injuries, accidents, and other health-related emergencies. We recommend packing several first aid kits and stowing it away in various places in your home. Also, we recommend stowing away a first aid kit in your car. This way, you can treat any injuries right away. In addition, check the location of the first aid kits where you work to prepare yourself for emergencies. If there’s no first aid kit in your office, we suggest bringing your own just in case.

The best first aid kit is the one that contains all the important necessities to treat wounds and other sickness. First aid kits come in various shapes and sizes. You can purchase ready-made ones from the Red Cross Store or put together a kit on your own. Whichever way you choose to get your emergency kit, make sure it’s designed according to your lifestyle. You can also create first aid kits according to specific activities such as camping and boating.

Below are the most important items to add to your first aid kit, as per Red Cross’ Recommendation:

2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
5 antiseptic wipe packets
2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
1 blanket (space blanket)
1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
1 instant cold compress
2 pair of non-latex gloves
2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
2 triangular bandages

Emergency Items

Cell phones
Family doctors, pediatrician and local emergency service numbers
Poison control center emergency number
Waterproof flashlights and extra batteries
Matches and candles

Recommended Medications

Anti-diarrhea drugs
Anti-histamines and auto-injector of epinephrine for severe allergies
Aspirin and non-aspirin pain relievers
Calamine lotion
Hydrocortisone cream
Prescription medication, if any
Additional Items for Infants

For Children and Infants

Disposable diapers
Child-safe insect repellent
Child-safe sunscreen
Hot-water bottle
Pediatrician’s emergency contact number
Mylar emergency blanket.

Additional Items for Pets

Rectal thermometer
Prescribed medications
Wound dressing
Pet’s health records, veterinarian emergency contact number

Finally, add your doctor’s emergency phone numbers and other items that your health care provider recommends. Also, routinely check the expiration dates of the medications in the kit and make sure to remove any expired contents regularly.

Storing the First Aid Kit

You’ll need a large container to pack all the items we listed above. We recommend converting a tackle box, an art and supplies box or even a tool-box into a first aid box. You can also use larger boxes and place it in various rooms. Essentially, any large box will do as long as the container can be covered or sealed.

We suggest compartmentalizing the box itself to keep the items organized. In emergency situations, your kit must be organized so treatment can be applied right away.

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