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First Aid Kits

First Aid Kits


A well-stocked first-aid kit can help you respond effectively to common injuries and emergencies. Keep at least one first-aid kit in your home and one in your car. Store your kits in easy-to-retrieve locations that are out of the reach of young children. Children old enough to understand the purpose of the kits should know where they are stored.

 

Contents of a first-aid kit should include:

Basic supplies

Adhesive tape
Aluminum finger splints
Antibiotic ointment
Antiseptic solution or towelettes
Bandages, including a roll of elastic wrap and bandage strips in assorted sizes
Instant cold packs
Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs
Disposable latex or synthetic gloves, at least two pair
Gauze pads and roller gauze in assorted sizes
Eye goggles
First-aid manual
Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
Plastic bags for the disposal of contaminated materials
Safety pins in assorted sizes
Save-A-Tooth storage device containing salt solution and a travel case
Scissors, tweezers and a needle
Soap or instant hand sanitizer
Sterile eyewash, such as a saline solution
Thermometer
Triangular bandage

 

Medications

Anti-diarrhea medication
Over-the-counter oral antihistamine (Benadryl, others)
Aspirin and nonaspirin pain relievers (never give aspirin to children)
Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream
Personal medications
If prescribed by your doctor, drugs to treat an allergic attack, such as an auto-injector of epinephrine (EpiPen)
Syringe, medicine cup or spoon

 

Emergency items

Mobile phone and recharger that utilizes the accessory plug in your car dash
Emergency phone numbers, including contact information for your family doctor and pediatrician, local emergency services, emergency road service providers and the regional poison control center
Small, waterproof flashlight and extra batteries
Candles and matches for cold climates
Sunscreen
Emergency blanket
First-aid instruction manual
Give your kit a checkup
Check your first-aid kits regularly, at least every three months, to be sure the flashlight batteries work and to replace supplies that have expired.

In addition, take a first-aid course to prepare for a possible medical emergency. Be sure the course covers cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED). Renew your CPR certification at least every two years.

Prepare children for medical emergencies in age-appropriate ways. The American Red Cross offers a number of helpful resources, including classes designed to help children understand and use first-aid techniques.