When an emergency or accident happens, being prepared can make a real difference. That’s why safety experts recommend that every home, classroom, and business have a first aid kit that’s easily accessible and well stocked. Serious medical emergencies need to be handled by medical experts, but with a good first aid kit, you’ll be able to handle minor injuries and illness.
Every kit should have the essential first aid supplies. Depending on where you live and who you live with, extra supplies could be needed. We’ve also included a list of non-traditional items that could prove to be vital during an emergency.
Traditional First Aid Kit Supplies
- Antibacterial Ointment
- Self-Adhesive Bandages
- Band Aides
- Gauze Pads
- Waterproof Surgical Tape
- Latex-free Bandage Strips
- Anti-nausea Medication
- Cold Compresses
- Hand Sanitizer
- Eye Pads
- Eye Wash
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Alcohol Wipes
- Burn Spray
- Burn Dressing
- Latex-free Gloves
- Non-aspirin Pain Reliever
- Hydrocortisone Cream
- Plastic or Metal Splints
- Basic First Aid Manual
Additional Items for Families With Young Children
- Children’s Tylenol or another child-safe pain reliever
- Prescription medications
- Allergy medication, such as an EpiPen Jr
- Fun band aides that can distract them from the pain
- Digital thermometer
- Activated charcoal in the event of poison consumption
Companies like Mfasco.com sell specialized kits as well as custom kits you can put together yourself. That way you can get exactly what you need for your situation. While you’re putting together a first aid kit for your home, that’s a good time to create a second kit for your car. People who own a boat can also buy specialty marine kits for emergencies out on the water.
Non-Traditional First Aid Kit Supplies
Today, we’re using many products that traditional medical professionals wouldn’t have considered beneficial years ago. Luckily, there’s been a resurgence in natural, homeopathic, solutions that have been used for centuries and proven to be effective at treating a number of ailments. Even though they don’t come in traditional first aid kits, you may want to add the items below.
Lavender Essential Oil – Lavender oil is one of the best-known essential oils because of its many uses. It’s so versatile, aromatherapists sometimes refer to lavender oil as a “first aid kit in a bottle.” Lavender oil is a soothing anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant, which makes it useful for a number of injuries and ailments. It’s commonly used for burns, sunburns, bug bites and headaches.
Tea Tree Oil – This essential oil is a natural antiseptic that can be used in the place of Neosporin to clean cuts and help them heal. Tea tree oil is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal.
Duct Tape – The guys at Myth Busters dedicated an entire show to duct tape to prove just how versatile it can be during a jam. Worse comes to worse duct tape can be used to stop bleeding by pulling together a wound and taping it shut. It can also be used to plug holes in tires, or as Myth Busters showed, to create a boat that floats.
Bug Spray – In many areas of the U.S., bugs are a serious problem during the summer. They can cause painful bites and even spread disease like West Nile Virus. Bug spray is a good addition that helps prevent injury and illness before it happens.
Feminine Hygiene Products – Maxipads and tampons can both be used to cover wounds, absorb blood and stop bleeding. Tampons are particularly useful for nosebleeds.
Safety Pins – In a pinch, safety pins can help hold bandages together and can aid in pulling out splinters. Just make sure the safety pins are sterilized and kept in a plastic bag.
Blood Clotting Product – Products that clot the blood, also known as hemostatic agents, can be critical if someone is bleeding heavily. Products come in the form of gauze pads and bandages that are pressed directly into the wound. The hemostatic agent will come in full contact with the wound, and when it does, the hemostatic agent will become cohesive and form a plug to stop the hemoragging.
First aid kits are all about customization. Consider the medical problems you’re most likely to encounter in your environment and then go from there stocking it with the appropriate products.