How to Build a First Aid Kit

How to Build a First Aid Kit
A first aid kit provides the tools and equipment needed to render medical care in an emergency, such as a life-threatening situation. It also addresses less critical problems such as a rash and minor injuries. First aid is not a substitute for professional medical care, rather it is for situations that do not require professional care or for temporary, immediate care until professional medical services can be provided.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Water-proof container Permanent marker 2 pairs disposable gloves Adhesive bandages (multiple sizes) Gauze pads Cloth adhesive tape A roller bandage Instant cold compress Triangular bandages Antiseptic pads Cotton swabs Tweezers Scissors Antibacterial cream 1 percent hydrocortisone cream Aloe burn cream Moleskin Thermometer (preferably digital) Saline eye solution Pain relievers (aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen) Anti-diarrheal medicine Mild laxative Antacids Antihistamines Decongestants Cough medicine First aid quick reference card
  • Water-proof container
  • Permanent marker
  • 2 pairs disposable gloves
  • Adhesive bandages (multiple sizes)
  • Gauze pads
  • Cloth adhesive tape
  • A roller bandage
  • Instant cold compress
  • Triangular bandages
  • Antiseptic pads
  • Cotton swabs
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Antibacterial cream
  • 1 percent hydrocortisone cream
  • Aloe burn cream
  • Moleskin
  • Thermometer (preferably digital)
  • Saline eye solution
  • Pain relievers (aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
  • Anti-diarrheal medicine
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacids
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Cough medicine
  • First aid quick reference card
Step 1
Before building a first aid kit, acquire some first aid knowledge. Contact your local hospital or clinic to see what training is provided. The Red Cross offers a number of first aid courses through local offices including CPR training. Even if you have had some training, periodically take refresher courses.
Step 2
Decide on a purpose for the first aid kit such as for the car or for camping. This allows selection of items to include and omit based on anticipated first aid situations. Also, this will permit you to gauge the size restrictions of the container. For example, a first aid kit kept in a car might be larger and heavier than a first aid kit used for backpacking. Also, a first aid kit kept in the car will likely have more equipment for dealing with trauma from traffic accidents than a back country first aid kit.
Step 3
Gather supplies for the kit. While some items might vary due to the anticipated purpose of the kit, items commonly included are listed in the "Things You'll Need" section.
Step 4
Place the supplies into a sealable plastic bag and label with emergency contact information using a permanent marker. This information should include contact information for family members, physician and emergency services. Also consider adding useful information such as insurance, allergies and existing medical conditions.
Step 5
Keep the first aid kit in a water-proof container in the spot where it was designed to be used and is accessible. A first aid kit for your car should be kept in the car, not in your kitchen counter. Also, if you don't know where it is underneath all the stuff in your trunk, clean out your car or find a more accessible place to store it.
Step 6
As items are consumed or expire, replace them. An inventory checklist is useful for identifying missing items.

Tips & Warnings

 
Because many first aid kits contain sharp objects and medications, they should be kept out of 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.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.