I’ve got a first aid kit checklist for you today. First Aid kits come in all varying sizes. Some are bare bones. Others, like this nurse’s first aid kit can cover any possible emergency imaginable. Mine? It is somewhere in between.
In addition to all the well known, typical first aid items, there are six items I highly recommend to everyone creating a first aid kit. And don’t worry! I’ll also include a full (RN approved) first aid kit checklist at the end (you can even download and print it).
First Aid Kits
I suggest having a first aid kit in (at least) three places: (1) a robust first aid kit in your home, (2) a smaller one in your 72 hour kit / go-bag, and (3) one in each vehicle.
We have one in our home. It is simply a bunch of tubs filled with first aid supplies that sits in our closet:
We also have one in our car. This one is in a tackle box:
In addition, 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:
There are many, many ways to create a first aid kit for your family. There is no “perfect” container or list. In fact, you can get started with what you have! Look around your home!! You likely have many first aid supplies already lying around that simply need to be organized into an actual kit! Don’t buy ANYTHING for your kit until you’ve gathered the supplies you already have!
Once you’ve pulled together what you already have in your home, consider some of my suggestions below. First, I want to highlight six items I’ve been truly impressed with and used with success.
After the first six items, I’ll give you a full first aid kit checklist. This list includes everything I keep in our family’s first aid kit.
My 6 Favorite First Aid Kit Items:
For our “home’ first aid kit, I keep all our supplies in various tubs in one closet. This is our most robust kit.
However, for the car, I love using a tackle box to organize our first aid supplies. There is a spot for everything making it easy for me to find what I need quickly. I use this large tackle box.
No amount of stuff will save your life if you don’t know how to use it. Skills are essential.
I highly recommend books by James Hubbard, aka “The Survival Doctor.” Dr Hubbard gives great information about what to do when help isn’t coming. He is down to earth, knowledgeable, and a real doctor. He does not recommend using the techniques he teaches instead of seeking medical help. He only suggests using them when there is no medical help. Find his books HERE.
This pain relieving spray really works! Use it on cuts and scrapes without touching them. A must have for kids. AHHH-mazing!
ps…the red can version is also antibacterial. Find it HERE.
This is an amazing little find! It can be cut to splint any bone in the body. So instead of having various different splints, just get this one and some scissors! Find them HERE.
Severe bleeding is a scary emergency. This will stop heavy bleeding fast and is safe. Find it HERE.
I truly believe this gel is a miracle worker. I have burned my entire palm and finger when grabbing a pot handle that had just come out of a 450° oven. I applied this and the next day it was as if nothing happened.
I have numerous other stories I could share, but suffice it to say we are never, ever without this gel in our home. Find it HERE.
Where I Buy My Supplies
Up until June of 2006, I bought almost all of my supplies on Amazon.com and I still recommend them as an option if you have free prime shipping. With the free shipping and no tax, their prices are almost always competitive. I love Amazon because I don’t have to leave my house or drag my kids around. Everything gets to my house in 2 days. And when I need to re-stock, I just search my order history and re-order with one click.
But I have found a new favorite store when it comes to first aid supplies! My Medic offers extremely high quality products in small quantities for reasonable prices.
One problem I found on Amazon was that if I wanted to order small (travel sized) packages of items (such as Tylenol or sting relief or antibiotic cream), in order to save space in my kit, I had to order them in very large quantities. I simply don’t need 100 packs of Tylenol! haha. My Medic solves that problem. You can order as few or as many of anything you need.
I’ve also been very impressed with the quality of the products offered via My Medic. Each product is researched and approved by a team of RNs and doctors to make sure that they offer only the best.
An RN that works with My Medic is the one who helped me create this first aid kit checklist.
Full First Aid Kit Checklist
Alright, on to your full first aid kit checklist! I spent hours researching online to create a list of what I felt were the most important items to have without creating an overly exhaustive list that would be HUGE when packed. Once I came up with my list, I took it to an RN for approval. Jolynn is an RN that works with My Medic and she has 13+ years of experience working in a southern California ER. She gave me some great feedback on items on my first aid kit checklist.
If you’d like to you can download and print this first aid kit checklist list by clicking HERE or on the image below. You can also skip to the bottom of this post for my thoughts on each items on the list.
Details on My First Aid Kit Checklist
Compound tincture of benzoin (Jolynn says this is a must for kids. It gets bandaids to stick much better! You can also use it to get gauze etc to stay put)
Liquid Bandage (Superglue works too)
Trauma Pads (Menstrual pads work too)
Triangular bandage (lots of uses for this: bandage, sling, tourniquet)
Eye wash (Jolynn suggests using this for wound irrigation)
Water Jel Burn Jel (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, you can’t tell anything has happened when I use this)
Fever / Pain
Thermometer (I like this forehead one, but there are obviously much less expensive options. The My Medic kit includes a much simpler one)
*Cooling Towel (These are the BEST on a hot day! I think they’d be a life saver if faced with no AC and a really hot summer)
Creams / sprays:
Povidone-Iodine Wipes (More effective than antibiotic ointment. Better for larger / deeper wounds)
Antiseptic pads / wipes (For hands and wounds)
Allergy medicine (Such as Benadryl. The My Medic kit includes Diphen)
Nausea / diarrhea meds (The My Medic includes Diotame (Pepto), Diamode (Antidiarrheal)
*Cold eeze (Zinc gluconate. Can help prevent a cold (or so it is said)
Sprain / Break
Flexible splint (Such as a Sam splint. The My Medic kit has an acti-splint)
MediLyte (A pill that contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium to replace lost electrolytes. Jolynn recommends using it in conjunction with the Oral IV)
Oral IV (A liquid that contains sodium only. Jolynn recommend using it in conjunction with the MediLyte above)
Kids medicine doesn’t come in small “travel sized” packages(at least that I’ve found), so it can be tough to include in a smaller first aid kit. The dosages also depend on the size of the child. I recommend adding these to your kits separately.
Suckers (for distraction)
Nitrile gloves (don’t get latex since so many people are allergic)
EMT Shears (Better for removing clothing etc than the smaller scissor linked to earlier)
*Zip lock bags (for soiled items)
What have I missed? What do you keep in YOUR first aid kit? What products do you find “ingenious?”
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