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First-Aid Kit

Everyone should have a well-stocked first-aid kit at home, in the car, and in the workplace. You may also want to stock a portable kit (a box or small bag) that can be taken to the site of an emergency.

It is important to check your kit regularly to restock items that have been used, and to replace items that are out-of-date.

The contents of the kit vary depending upon the number of people it is designed to protect, as well as its intent for use. Recommended contents of a first-aid kit include the following:

Instruments

Bandages

  • Bulb syringe

  • Scissors

  • Thermometer (oral)

  • Tweezers

  • Adhesive tape

  • Butterfly bandages

  • Elastic bandages

  • Hypoallergenic tape

  • Sling (triangular-shaped cloth)

  • Sterile cotton balls

  • Sterile eye patches

  • Sterile gauze pads (4" x 4")

  • Stretchable gauze roll

  • Waterproof tape

Medications

Miscellaneous items

  • Acetaminophen

  • Antacid

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • antidiarrheal medication

  • Antihistamine

  • Aspirin

  • Antiseptic ointment

  • Calamine lotion

  • Decongestant

  • Hydrocortisone cream

  • Ibuprofen

  • Sugar or glucose solution

  • Alcohol (rubbing 70 percent)

  • Alcohol wipes

  • Blanket

  • Candles

  • Chemical ice packs or ice bag

  • Chemical hot packs or hot water bottle

  • Cotton swabs

  • Disposable gloves (non-Latex if you or a loved one has a Latex allergy)

  • Face mask for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

  • First-aid book

  • Flashlight

  • Insect repellent

  • Insect sting swabs

  • Matches

  • Measuring spoons

  • Paper and pencil

  • Paper cups

  • Soap

  • Safety pins

  • Sunscreen

  • Tissues

  • Tongue blades

You can also use the following everyday items in the event of an emergency:

  • Disposable or cloth diapers for compresses, bandages, or padding for splints

  • Dish towels for bandages or slings

  • Umbrella, rolled magazine, or layered newspaper for use as a splint

In addition, it is helpful to carry the following items in your car:

  • A large blanket

  • Gallon-size bottle of water

  • Flashlight and extra batteries

If your child or other family member has special medical needs, be sure to carry extra medical supplies when you go on an outing or trip. Some of these items might include the following:

  • An allergy kit containing medications to be used by people allergic to insect stings or certain foods

  • Prescription medications (make sure they're stored properly and aren't expired), syringes, and special equipment or supplies

Be sure any member of your family who has special needs wears a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace at all times. Applications are available in most pharmacies.

Online Medical Reviewer: Larson, Kim APRN, FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 4/23/2013
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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