Making First Aid Kits for the Home

Making First Aid Kits for the Home
First aid can prevent minor injuries from becoming serious and life-threatening conditions from being fatal. Although many people carry first aid kits in their boats, cars and backpacks, the most likely place one will be needed is in the home. Making a first aid kit for the home is a good place to begin when considering emergency preparedness and designing more mobile and task-specific kits.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Container Permanent marker First aid supplies
  • Container
  • Permanent marker
  • First aid supplies
Step 1
Get trained. The best first aid kit is useless without the appropriate knowledge on when and how to use the items in it. A life-threatening emergency is not the time to look up how to treat it, nor is the victim the appropriate medium to attempt to learn the skills. Topics that should be learned from reputable teachers include CPR, choking response and wound care. Learn how to recognize and respond to medical emergencies any family members have or are at risk for, such as stroke, anaphylaxis, heart attack or asthma.
Step 2
Select a secure container to use for the first aid kit. Examples of containers include clear, plastic bins with secure lids, zippered day packs or a clean tackle box. Each offers varying advantages in portability, organization and content preservation. Label the container "First Aid" and record important contact information on it, including phone numbers for your physician, poison control center and immediate family. Also mark any pertinent health information, such as allergies.
Step 3
Equip the kit with general items that may be needed, including two pairs of disposable gloves, various sizes of adhesive bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, an elastic bandage, instant cold compress, sling, antiseptic, cotton swabs, tweezers, scissors, antibacterial cream, over-the-counter hydrocortisone (1 percent) cream, burn ointment, moleskin, thermometer (preferably digital), eye drops, pain relievers (include nonaspirin products, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, for children and adolescents), anti-diarrheal medicine, laxative, antacids, antihistamines, decongestants, cough medicine and a first aid quick reference card.
Step 4
Add such emergency preparedness items as iodine tablets for water purification, space blanket, spare eyeglasses and small flashlight, if possible, and infant supplies (formula, diapers, etc.) if necessary.
Step 5
Include items to treat specific conditions of family members. This may include physician-prescribed items, such as an EpiPen for those with severe allergies, 81 mg aspirin or nitroglycerin (if prescribed) in the event of a heart attack, inhaler for asthma or diabetic supplies.
Step 6
Don't forget your pets. Your animal companions may need specific items, such as a muzzle, leash, hydrogen peroxide or nonhuman adhesive bandages. Get trained in animal CPR and first aid. Also, add your veterinarian's name and phone number as well as the number for animal poison control (1-888-426-4435).
Step 7
Place the container in a readily accessible place and ensure family members are aware of its location and how to use it. However, it should be kept out of the reach of small children. A good location is near a phone as a call to 911 is often the first action in life-threatening emergencies.
Step 8
Maintain the first aid kit by replacing items as they are consumed and ensuring any medications have not expired.

Tips & Warnings

Certain items, such as epinephrine and rescue inhalers, should be carried on your person and not confined to a first aid kit.

Article Written By David Chandler

David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.

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