First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

Everyone should have a well-stocked first aid kit at home, in the car, and at work. You may also want to stock a portable kit (a box or small bag) that can be taken to the site of an emergency.

It's important to check your kit regularly. Restock items that have been used, and replace items that are out-of-date.

The kit's contents will vary depending on the number of people it's designed to protect, as well as its intended use. Here's some advice on what to include in a first-aid kit:

Instruments Bandages
Bulb syringe Adhesive bandage
Scissors Butterfly bandages
Thermometer (oral) Elastic bandages
Tweezers Hypoallergenic tape
Sling (triangular-shaped cloth)
Sterile cotton balls
Sterile eye patches
Sterile gauze pads (4"x4")
Stretchable gauze roll
Waterproof tape
Medicines Other items
Acetaminophen Alcohol (rubbing 70%), alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Antacid Alcohol wipes
Antibiotic ointment Blanket
Antidiarrheal medicine Candles
Antihistamine Chemical ice packs or ice bag
Aspirin Chemical hot packs or hot water bottle
Antiseptic ointment Cotton swabs
Calamine lotion Disposable gloves (non-Latex if you or a loved one has a Latex allergy)
Decongestant Face mask for CPR
Hydrocortisone cream First-aid book
Ibuprofen Flashlight
Sugar or glucose solution Insect repellent
Insect sting swabs
Measuring spoons
Paper and pencil
Paper cups
Safety pins
Tongue blades

You can also use these everyday items in an emergency:

  • Disposable or cloth diapers for compresses, bandages, or padding for use as splints
  • Dish towels for use as bandages or slings
  • Umbrella, rolled magazine, or layered newspaper for use as a splint

In addition, it's helpful to carry these items in your car:

  • A large blanket
  • Gallon-size bottle of water
  • Flashlight and extra batteries

If your child or other family member has special medical needs, be sure to carry extra medical supplies when you go on an outing or trip. Some of these items might include

  • An allergy kit containing medicines to be used by people allergic to insect stings or certain foods. Or a glucagon emergency kit to treat very low blood sugar if a person has diabetes.
  • Prescription medicines (make sure they're stored correctly and aren't expired), syringes, and special equipment or supplies.

Be sure any member of your family who has special needs wears a medical alert identification bracelet or necklace at all times. You can find these in most pharmacies or online.

Online Medical Reviewer: Eric Perez MD

Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN

Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2020

© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.