What to Put in a First Aid Kit

What to Put in a First Aid Kit
Items placed in a first aid kit should be appropriate for the first aid that will be rendered. Selection of items may vary according to your level of training and proficiency in first aid skills. It will also vary depending on medical needs of companions and environmental risks. Avoid items that you don't know how to use.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • sterile gloves adhesive bandages antiseptic wipes antibiotic ointment cotton swabs butterfly bandages triangular bandages gauze pads cloth adhesive tape cold compress roller bandage scissors tweezers gastrointestinal medications cold medicines pain relievers thermometer space blanket aloe-based cream soap insect repellent sunscreen
  • sterile gloves
  • adhesive bandages
  • antiseptic wipes
  • antibiotic ointment
  • cotton swabs
  • butterfly bandages
  • triangular bandages
  • gauze pads
  • cloth adhesive tape
  • cold compress
  • roller bandage
  • scissors
  • tweezers
  • gastrointestinal medications
  • cold medicines
  • pain relievers
  • thermometer
  • space blanket
  • aloe-based cream
  • soap
  • insect repellent
  • sunscreen
Step 1
Add items to address injuries that result in bleeding, burns, sprains and breaks. These items include sterile, disposable gloves (2 pair), adhesive bandages (various sizes), antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, cotton swabs, butterfly bandages, triangular bandages (for slings), gauze pads, cloth adhesive tape, cold compress, roller bandage, scissors and tweezers.
Step 2
Address gastrointestinal problems by including medications to treat diarrhea, nausea, constipation and heartburn.
Step 3
Prepare for life-threatening medical situations with a space blanket for shock and hypothermia, aspirin (81 mg) for heart attacks, epinephrine with auto-injector (by prescription) for severe allergic reactions, rescue inhaler for asthma, and a breathing barrier for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Step 4
Stock up on remedies for symptoms of common ailments such as pain and fever medicines (aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen), decongestants, antihistamines, thermometer, and cough suppressant/expectorant.
Step 5
Include items to address any specific concerns related to the environment in which the first aid kit will be carried. These items may include 1% hydrocortisone cream for skin inflammations, moleskin (for blisters), and burn ointment (for sunburns). Preventive measures may also be included, such as soap, insect repellent and sunscreen.
Step 6
Create an emergency information card including names and phone numbers of immediate family, physician, and the nearest embassy or consulate if traveling abroad.
Step 7
Include a first aid reference guide or instruction booklet.

Tips & Warnings

 
Create an inventory checklist for items in your first aid kit to easily determine items that need replacing.
 
Keep the first aid kit out of the reach of small children.

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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