How to Create a First Aid Kit

How to Create a First Aid Kit

You can create your first aid kit in any manner you like – plain or fancy. In a velvet-covered box, a wicker basket or an old shoe box. The only real requirement is that it be created.

And when you create your first aid kit, it should be tailored to fit the needs of your own family. For many, a small cardboard box with a lid works very well as a container. Other suggestions are to use a fishing tackle box, a cosmetics case or a tool box. Whatever shape it may take, keep the box in an easily accessible place – but out of reach of small children!

Remember special needs for special folks in your family, such as an extra pair of glasses, toys for children, sugar for a diabetic, allergy relief, etc.

Basic First Aid Kit Items

The following items are recommended as basic items for a family first aid kit:

• Sterilized gauze squares (assorted sizes – two, three, four inches)
• Roller gauze (one each of one, two, and three inches)
• Plain absorbent gauze pads (one eighteen-inch, one twenty four by seventy two inches)
• Eyepads
• Triangular bandages (three)
• Packet of assorted adhesive dressing (such as Band-Aids)
• Roll of adhesive tape (one half inch or one inch wide)
• Pair of small scissors
• Pair of tweezers
• Thermometers (one oral, one rectal)
• Tongue blades and wooden applicator sticks
• Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
• Assorted sizes of safety pins
• Cleansing agent – soap
• First aid book

Nonprescription Drugs

You may want to get a list of preferred drugs and supplies from your family health professional. Some of the items to be considered for inclusion into your first aid kit:

• Aspirin or acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) to reduce fever or pain
• Antidiarrhea medication
• Antacid (for stomach upset)
• Emetic (to induce vomiting following poisoning)
• Laxative (the addition of fresh and dried fruits to the diet is also helpful)
• Eyewash (large amounts of water work best)
• Alcohol
• Vitamin supplements

Bandages: You can make bandages rather easily from sheets torn into strips, clean rags, disposable diapers, or sanitary pads. Dressings can be held in place by using these strips, or by using men’s ties, plastic bags, or nylon stockings. As you’re planning to “expect the unexpected,” you can also learn to use regular household items in unexpected, useful ways.

Additional Supplies

• Plastic bags, small and large
• Paper cups
• Spoons
• Needle and thread
• Splinting material
• Disposable diapers
• Sanitary napkins
• Formula
• Medicine dripper
• Cotton-tipped swabs
• Cold packs
• Hot packs
• Cotton
• Tissues
• Salt
• Baking soda
• Matches
• Premoistened towelettes
• Hand lotion
• Pocket knife
• Elastic bandage
• Extra eyeglasses
• Contact lenses and supplies
• Sunscreen lotion

Special Prescription Medications

It is advisable to contact your personal physician for recommendation of specific prescription medicines such as:

• Insulin
• Heart medication
• High-blood pressure medication
• Other essential medication

It is also wise to obtain specific information from your physician or pharmacist on labeling, storage, how much to store, how often to rotate, etc., for your prescription medications. Some medications have a longer “shelf life” than others, and it is worthwhile to keep track of what you and your family will need.

Storage of Your First Aid Kit

Keep your first aid kit in an easily accessible place – but keep it out the reach of children. It is not meant for play. Be sure to keep a list of contents taped to the lid of the box. Periodically check the contents and restock those supplies that have been used or are out of date.