Good First Aid Kit
- Medications

The Makings of a Good First Aid Kit

Not everyone thinks about the importance of keeping a first aid kit handy, particularly those who don’t sustain many minor injuries. However, most medical professionals will recommend keeping a stocked kit available not only at home, but one in your car as well for roadside emergencies. In addition to pre-assembled kits sold in drug and department stores, you might also choose to piece together your own to ensure that everything is in place for when you need it most.

Good First Aid KitThe Basics

Any good first aid kit needs to contain supplies to treat non-serious cuts, abrasions, burns, and other common injuries not requiring professional medical attention. Essentials to keep in mind:

  • Bandages (both rolled elastic style and self-adhesive strips)
  • Antibiotic ointment and antiseptic solution or wipes
  • Cotton balls (swabs also recommended)
  • Gauze (both in roll form and pads)
  • Soap or hand sanitizer
  • Sterilized eye wash
  • Scissors and safety pins (various sizes)
  • Splinter remover and tweezers
  • Instant cold packs
  • Thermometer
  • Disposable gloves (latex or synthetic material)
  • Lubricant, such as petroleum jelly
  • Aloe Vera solution or calamine lotion
  • Non-prescription hydrocortisone cream
  • Bulb syringe (used to clean open wounds)
  • First aid manual

Other Important Supplies

While being prepared for a greater number of situations is always advisable, not every kit will contain the same supplies across the board. With that said, here are some other common inclusions to consider for your first aid kit:

  • Pain relief medication (aspirin and non-aspirin recommended)
  • Anti-diarrheal and/or stomach soothing medication
  • Non-prescription antihistamines
  • Prescription medications not requiring refrigeration (including drugs for treatment of allergic reactions, such as epinephrine auto-injectors)
  • Syringe, small cup, and/or spoon for administering medication
  • Activated charcoal (to be used only by instruction of poison control center)
  • List of emergency contacts (including family doctors and emergency services)
  • Medical history and consent forms for family members
  • Flashlight (preferably waterproof and/or self-powered)
  • Extra batteries
  • Matches, candles (road flares for professional drivers and service persons)

Preparation is Key

It’s important to always keep first aid kits out of reach of young children, particularly kits which are stocked with medications. Children should be taught the purpose and importance of a first aid kit, but not provided access until they are old enough to handle such responsibility.

Also be sure to inspect your kit every few months to ensure that all supplies are stocked and in good condition. In particular, check expiration dates for medications, test flashlights, and verify the current accuracy of emergency contacts and medical documents. Good preparation will not only benefit your personal sense of security, but it just might help you out of a tight spot one day in the future.