What should be in a first aid kit

What Should Be In A First Aid Kit?

First aid kits are a requirement in every household. Not only should you have one sitting safely and conveniently within reach at home, but you should also bring your own first aid kits when you go out on vacation as well.

Many drugstores, clinics, and first aid offices sell first aid kits, but maybe you would rather make your own. Making your own first aid kit is quite more economical, especially if you already have most of the materials lying around your house. Make sure, though, that you have all the necessary items for your first aid kit so that you will not need to run somewhere else in case of an emergency.

What You’ll Need

So, what should be in a first aid kit? Your first aid kit may be as basic or comprehensive as you want it to be. Generally, the items in your first aid kit must be based on how much medical training you have and how accessible professional medical services are to you.

Ideally, your first aid kit must be waterproof and drop-proof. However, if you do not think it is necessary and if you will just be storing your kit somewhere safe, then you may as well resort to a sturdy and trusty container that will drive away pests. Plastic containers with handles may be used as they are lightweight and easily portable.

Home first aid kits are ideally to be stored in kitchens, as this is an easy-to-reach area and its room temperature is just right for items not to expire too quickly. Meanwhile, travel first aid kits are ideally to be stored in waterproof containers like a ziplock. Remember to keep the first aid kits away from young children as they might ingest and overdose in medicine or play with the sharp objects included and harm themselves.

Home First Aid Kit

Home first aid kits usually cater to minor injuries including burns, cuts, splinters, and sprains. Every house must have a home first aid kit, especially when you do not live near a medical center. However, it is also important for you to be aware of the location and contact numbers of the medical centers near you.

home first aid kit

Here are some items you may carry in your home first aid kit:

  • plasters – for cuts and grazes
  • sterile pad – to cushion wounds
  • petroleum jelly – for burns
  • sterile wound dressing – to help stop bleeding for larger wounds
  • roller bandages – to support joint injuries and put pressure on bleeding wounds, to reduce swelling
  • triangular bandages – to support injuries and to dress large wounds and burns
  • disposable gloves – to protect first aider from getting infected while cleaning wounds
  • face masks – to prevent first aider from getting infected by the breath of the person being rescued
  • cleansing wipes – to clean the skin near the wound
  • gauze pads – to clean around wounds or to use as padding
  • adhesive tape – to hold dressings in place
  • pins – to fasten bandages
  • scissors – to cut pads, bandages and tapes
  • tweezers – to pluck out clearly visible debris from wounds
  • antibiotic ointment packets – to aid the healing of minor cuts, scrapes and burns and to help prevent infection
  • aspirin – to reduce fever and to relieve mild to moderate pain (not to be used for children)
  • calamine lotion – for stings
  • hydrocortisone cream – for rashes
  • antihistamines – for allergies
  • sterile eyewash – to relieve eye discomfort
  • oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass) – to measure human or animal body temperature
  • first aid instruction booklet – to know what to do in case of emergencies
  • a list of family member's medical history, medications, doctors, insurance company, and contact persons

Travel First Aid Kit

In creating a travel first aid kit, you must consider the possibility that no drug store may be near you. Therefore, more medical items are needed to be included in a travel first aid kit as compared to a home first aid kit.

travel first aid kit

Usually, travel first aid kits would include items that help ease nausea (due to motion sickness) and emergency stomach problems (i.e. loose bowel movements or constipation due to food) or that help alleviate fever, cough, and colds. But of course, travel first aid kits should also be complete enough to treat cuts, burns, and sprains. Allergies and skin problems must also be readily treated through the items in a travel first aid kit.

Here are some more items you may carry in your travel first aid kit in addition to those previously mentioned in the home first aid kit:

  • blanket – to keep warm outside
  • flashlight – to provide light and to attract attention and let others know where you are
  • whistle – to attract attention
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    antacid - for indigestion
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    antidiarrheal (Imodium, Pepto-Bismol, for example) – to stop diarrhea
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    antihistamine cream – to relieve skin rashes
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    antiseptic agent (small bottle liquid soap) - for cleaning wounds and hands
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    diphenhydramine (Benadryl) - oral antihistamine
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    lighter - to sterilize instruments and to start a fire for signal
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    cough medication
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    dental kit - for broken teeth
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    insect repellant – to prevent insect bites
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    nasal spray decongestant - for nasal congestion from colds or allergies
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    personal medications and items
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    zip locks
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    sunscreen – to prevent sunburn

Remember that first aid kits are only the start of a process in cases of emergency. After catering to the person in need, make sure to bring him or her to a professional medical service center as soon as possible.

Make sure to properly train yourself and your family on how to use the items in your first aid kit. Read the entire first aid manual included in your kit, so you have a background on how to use your kit in cases of emergency. Familiarize yourself with the manual so that you would not have a difficult time searching for the instructions you need.

Lastly, also remember to check for the expiration dates of the items in your first aid kits as expired medications may poison those who intake it.

May this guide on what should be in a first aid kit helped you!

About the Author Angela

While we can’t exactly predict when or where an accident may happen, we can, however, prepare ourselves when it does happen. And that’s where IntelligentFirstAid.com comes in; we are here to help you prepare for any untoward incidents by guiding you which first aid kits are perfect for your situation and your budget.

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