Getting sick, and suffering an occasional cut or scrape is inevitable, and the last thing you want is to not have the necessary supplies on hand. How many times have you been caught off guard with not enough band-aids or no Neosporin?
Well, this article will help you prepare an amazing first aid kit at home that meets your families needs.
First aid kits come in varying sizes. Some are bare-bones while others cover every emergency imaginable. This guide will have you creating one that falls somewhere in between, giving you just enough supplies for the most common medical mishaps.
I am also providing a printable first aid kit PDF so you have a reference guide for building your first aid kit. Click here to skip to the download.
The Importance Of Having A First Aid Kit
Before I get into my first aid kit essentials, I want to provide some information about the importance of having a safety kit. Although you know that accidents are bound to happen, it’s natural to push it to the back of your mind.
Injuries don’t occur all of the time, so you might procrastinate to get a kit. However, I urge you to take these things into consideration:
How Far Do You Live From A Medical Facility?
If you’re someone who doesn’t live 5 to 10 minutes from a hospital, you desperately need a first aid kit. Not all injuries are severe, but there may be a time when you need to take a trip to the emergency room. For instance, if someone in your household has a deep cut that requires stitches, you’ll need to wrap the wound to slow down bleeding while heading to get medical attention.
Can You Treat Moderate Injuries At Home?
Going to the hospital isn’t fun, and it should be saved for severe accidents and illnesses. On the other hand, you want to have everything you need in your home to treat boo-boo’s that require more than a bandaid.
If you sprain your wrist, having compression wraps on hand will aid in healing your injury and help you feel better without visiting your doctor.
The bottom line is, treating injuries at home is all about three things:
- Preventing further damage
- Improving Recovery
- Preserving Life
Where to Keep Your First Aid Kit?
First of all, it’s important to note that there are certain places where is advisable to keep a first aid kit. Therefore, I suggest having a first aid kit in (at least) three places:
- a robust first aid kit in your home;
- a smaller one in your 72-hour kit / go-bag;
- one in each vehicle.
So, we have one in our home. Also, there are just a bunch of tubs filled with first aid supplies that sit in our closet:
In addition, we have one in our car. This one is in a tackle box:
Last but not least, we have a small first aid kit in our 72-hour kits that is stuffed into a quart-sized gallon bag to be as small as possible:
How To Make A First Aid Kit
There are many ways to create a first aid kit quick guide for your family, and there is no “perfect” container or list.
First, just look around your home, and you’ll probably find you have most of the supplies already lying around. Also, don’t buy anything for your kit until you’ve gathered the supplies you already have!
Once you’ve pulled together your current supplies, consider some of my suggestions below.
First, I want to highlight six items that I’m truly impressed by, and that I’ve used with success.
Then, after the first six items, I’ll give you a full first aid kit checklist, which includes everything I keep in our family’s kit.
My 6 Favorite First Aid Kit Items
In addition to all of the typical first aid items, there are six essentials that I highly recommend to everyone who creates a safety kit. And don’t worry, I’ll also include a full RN-approved first aid kit checklist at the end (so you can even download and print it).
I suggest that you have a large kit in your home, a smaller one in your 72-hour kit / go-bag, and one in each vehicle.
We have one in our house and it basically sits in our closet; there’s also one in our car. Plus, we have a small first aid kit in our 72-hour kit that is stuffed into a quart-sized gallon bag so that it’s as small as possible.
|1. Tackle BoxOur home kit is the most extensive, and I keep all of our supplies in various tubs in the closet. However, for the car, I love using a tackle box to organize our emergency supplies. There is a spot for everything, which makes it easy for me to find what I need quickly. I use this large tackle box.|
| 2. Dr. Hubbard BooksNo amount of medical supplies will save your life if you don’t know how to use them —skills are essential. I highly recommend books by James Hubbard, aka “The Survival Doctor.” He provides useful information about what to do when help isn’t available. He is down-to-earth, knowledgeable, and a certified physician. |
Dr. Hubbard does not recommend using the techniques he teaches as a substitute for getting medical attention. He only suggests using the procedures when there is no medical help.
This pain-relieving spray really works and it’s a must-have for kids! Use it on cuts and scrapes without touching them. AHHH-mazing! P.S. The red spray that comes in the red can is also antibacterial.
4. Sam Splint
This is an amazing product! It can be cut to splint any bone in the body. So instead of having various splints, just get this one and some scissors!
Severe bleeding is a scary emergency. This will stop heavy bleeding quickly and it’s safe to use.
I genuinely believe this gel is a miracle worker. I burned my entire palm and my finger while grabbing a pot handle out of a 450- degree oven. I applied this, and the next day it was as if nothing happened.
Where To Get Supplies For The First Aid Kit
I used to buy most of my supplies on Amazon.com, and I still recommend them as an option if you have free prime shipping. With free shipping and no tax, their prices are incredibly competitive. I love Amazon because I don’t have to leave my house and drag my kids around the store. Plus, all the products get to my home in two days. When I need to restock, I just search for my order history and reorder with one click.
But recently, I have focused more on shopping local so I will go to my local medicine shop that is privately owned. Not a CVS or Walgreens, but a Mom and Pop shop that needs my support.
Yes, the prices might be a bit higher, but I know I am supporting a local community member who needs it more than Jeff Bezos does.
Onto the first aid kit preparation tips!
Full First Aid Kit Checklist (Free Printable)
Alright, on the full first aid kit checklist! I spent hours researching online to create an outline of what I felt were the most critical items to have without creating an overly exhaustive list.
Once I put it together, I took it to an RN for approval. Jolynn is a registered nurse that works with My Medic, and she has over 13 years of experience working in a southern California emergency room.
She gave me some great feedback regarding the items on my first-aid kit checklist.
What Should Be Included In A First Aid Kit?
Below are the recommendations for the supplies that should be included in your homemade first aid kit. These are also listed on the downloadable first aid kit planning PDF.
- Various size regular bandages
- Butterfly bandages
- Compound tincture of benzoin (Jolynn says this is a must for kids. It gets band-aids to stick much better! You can also use it to get gauze etc. to stay put)
- Liquid Bandage (Superglue works too)
- Finger/knuckle bandages
- Gauze Dressing Pads (4×4, 3×4, 2×3, 2×2)
- Trauma Pads (Menstrual pads work too)
- Triangular bandage (lots of uses for this: bandage, sling, tourniquet)
- Gauze roll bandages
- Celox: other sizes HERE (Clots blood very quickly. Good for temporary treatment of traumatic wounds. Jolynn says it is the safest such product on the market)
- Nylon Sutures
- Surgical scissors
- Eyewash (Jolynn suggests using this for wound irrigation)
- Water Jel Burn Gel (This stuff is a miracle worker. I’ve burned my whole hand on a stove burner, and my finger in hot oil, and within less than a day, it doesn’t look as if anything happened.)
- Water Jel Burn Dressing
- Thermometer (I like this one, but there are obviously much less expensive options.)
- Pain-relieving spray (I’ve always used Dermoplast)
- Oral pain gel
- Icy Hot
- Cooling Towel (These are the BEST on a hot day! I think they’d be a lifesaver if there was no AC and it was a really hot summer)
- Sting/bite relief
- Antibiotic ointment
- Povidone-Iodine Wipes (More effective than antibiotic ointment. Better for larger / deeper wounds)
- Antiseptic pads/wipes (For hands and wounds)
- Bug spray
- Allergy medicine (Such as Benadryl)
- Nausea/diarrhea meds
- Cold Meds
- Cold eeze (Zinc gluconate. Can help prevent a cold (or so it is said)
- Cough Drops
- MediLyte (A pill that contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium to replace lost electrolytes. Jolynn recommends using it in conjunction with the Oral IV)
- Liquid Hydration
Additional First Aid Kit Supplies Just For Kids
Kids’ medicine doesn’t come in small “travel-sized” packages, so it can be tough to include it in a smaller first aid kit.
The dosages also depend on the size of the child. I recommend adding these to your kits separately.
- Lollipops (for distraction)
- Cold Meds
- Benadryl for kids
- Eye pad
- Nitrile gloves (don’t get latex since so many people are allergic)
- EMT Shears (Better for removing clothing etc. than the smaller scissor linked earlier)
- Waterproof tape
- Pink Eye Relief
- Ziplock bags (for soiled items)
- Living Ready Pocket Manual
Prepare Your First Aid Kit Like A Nurse
The good thing about most medications, bandages, and other first aid items is that they have long shelf lives.
However, if you want to get the most out of your kit, be sure to store it in the right place.
Check out the tips below:
1. Store Your First Aid Kit In A Dry, Cool Location
An excellent spot to put your kit would be in a coat closet or a pantry. Go through your home and figure out which area has the most consistent temperature.
Keep it away from areas that are prone to get very hot or cold, and places that hold moisture. You want to try your best to preserve the life of the contents inside of the kit.
2. Make Sure It’s Easily Accessible
Everyone in your household needs to know where the first aid kit is, and it should be easy to access. If there is an emergency, you don’t want everyone scrambling to find it.
Put it in a place where your family members see it often. That way, if they ever need it, they’ll remember where it is. Also, put the kit in a place where it’s within your children’s reach.
3. Regularly Check Expiration Dates
You obviously won’t have to use your kit all of the time, so certain things might expire before you have a chance to use it.
My suggestion is to take inventory of everything and write down all of the expiration dates. That way, you can quickly look over the dates and dispose of anything that’s outdated.
4. Replace Items That You Use
The last thing you want is to reach for medication or bandages only to realize you’ve run out. Keep your first aid kit fully stocked so that all items are there when you need them.
5. Keep A Separate Stash Of First Aid Supplies
There are those rare times when the entire family gets sick, or both of your children injure themselves, and your first aid kit is good for those occurrences. However, things like headache medicine tend to go quickly.
So, it’s a smart idea to put a bottle in your cabinets and your kit. And if you have kids who fall and scrape their knees and elbows regularly, I suggest having a double supply of bandages and Neosporin.
6. Why Should You Put An Emergency Kit In Your Car?
Some of you may have never thought about putting a safety kit in your car, but it’s one of the main places where you need one. Accidents can happen anywhere, and that includes your vehicle.
Most people spend a lot of time in their cars as they commute to and from work, run errands, on road trips, etc. Plus, things like severe weather, traffic jams, and car crashes are some of the few situations that could result in the need for a first aid kit.
Download The First Aid Kit Checklist!
Thankfully, every illness or bruise that your family endures won’t require a visit to the doctor, but preparation is key. You’ll feel a lot better knowing that you have the supplies on hand to take care of yourself and your loved ones when the time comes.
Never be unprepared for an emergency again!
This free checklist will help you create an emergency first aid kit that will be ready for most medical emergencies.
Finally, I hope this article provides you with useful information to keep your family happy and healthy. Also, please be sure to stock your kit with the items it’s missing. Now that I’ve given you a rundown of everything that I know, I need your help.
What have I missed? What do you keep in YOUR first aid kit? What products do you find “ingenious?” Tell me everything in the comment section below, where you can ask all your further questions too. I’m always excited to hear from my readers and your experiences and advice are more than useful every time.