A well prepared first aid kit can help treat injuries in emergency situations. You can purchase a pre-packed kit or make your own. Just make sure that it contains all items that might needed in an emergency situation, such as your family’s chronic medications, emergency phone numbers (including local emergency services, poison center, family doctor), and any other items your healthcare provider suggests.
Here is a list of things that should be placed in your first aid kit:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings of size 5×9 inches.
- Adhesive bandages such as Band-Aid to protect blisters, small cuts etc.
- Antiseptic solution for cleaning wounds.
- 1 tube of lubricant such as petroleum jelly to dress wounds and relieve dry skin etc.
- Gauze pads of size 3X3 inches and 4X4 inches to use as protective covering on wounds.
- 2 pairs of synthetic non-latex gloves (e.g., nitrile gloves) to prevent blood-borne diseases or infection.
- Emergency burn packets such as burn gel to relive minor burns.
- Sterile eyewash, such as a saline solution—to flush the eyes or clean a wound if clean water not available.
- Poison ivy wash (Tecnu, etc.)—to wash off poison ivy (if outdoors).
- A scissor to cut away clothing from an injury and to cut medical tape etc.
- An oral thermometer to check body temperature.
- Over-the-counter fever medications such as Tylenol for emergency.
- 1 roll of duct tape to close up wounds, remove thorns, immobilize limb, etc.
- Tick removing tool to remove ticks and tweezers for removing particulate debris, splinters, or dirt in scrapes or laceration.
- Cotton-tipped swabs or cotton balls to clean wounds.
- Hand sanitizer to clean hands.
- Bulb suction device for flushing out wounds.
- 1 match box or lighter to sterilize needles
- Syringe, medicine cup, or spoon for liquid medications.
- Re-sealable plastic bag to use as an ice pack; for disposing contaminated materials.
In addition to these, ensure to keep oral medications such as:
- Pain relievers such as ibuprofen to get relief from minor aches and pains
- Antidiarrheal medication such as Imodium
- Antacid like Tums to relief from heartburn
- Oral antihistamines including Benadryl, Claritin, etc. for relief from allergic reactions
After you’ve stocked your first-aid kits:
- Make sure to store first-aid kits out of children’s reach to avoid any mis-happening.
- Ensure to check the kits regularly to replace the expired medications or to refill the prescription.
- If you’re flying, be sure to pack the first-aid kit in your checked luggage. Many of the items won’t be permitted in your carry-on bags.