Having a first aid kit in your home or apartment is essential. According to the CDC, roughly 50% of all injuries occur in the home. While a basic first aid kit bought from a home goods store is a good start, several items can take your first aid kit to the next level and allow you to treat more serious injuries.
We created a checklist to show you what your first aid kit should contain at a bare minimum.
Basic First Aid Kit
- Comprehensive first aid manual or information cards
- Medical adhesive tape
- Insect bite treatment
- Butterfly bandages/adhesive wound-closure strips
- Blister treatment
- Ibuprofen/other pain-relief medication
- Gauze pads of different sizes
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antibacterial ointment
- Antihistamine to treat allergic reactions
- Nonstick sterile pads
- Assorted adhesive bandages
- Latex or nitrile gloves
In addition to the items listed above, adding the following items will help you be prepared to treat more serious injuries and deal with almost anything else that comes your way.
Purchasing and learning how to use a tourniquet like the RATS or the SOF-T can save a life. The American College of Surgeons (ACS), which says uncontrolled bleeding is one of the most preventable types of death, launched bleedingcontrol.org in 2016 to teach people about bleeding control and tourniquet usage.
A crucial tool for any parent, a thermometer in your first aid kit can help you identify when it’s time to take a sick child to an urgent care center or emergency room for an uncontrolled fever. Fever control can help reduce the duration of some illnesses and go a long way toward helping your patient feel better quickly.
Having extra prescription medicines on hand is critical when facing a natural disaster or inclement weather. Running out during inopportune times can create an emergency. According to the CDC, you should have 7–10 days of medication and a list of your medications and dosages on hand in case of emergency.
Adding a small flashlight to your first aid kit can make treating injuries easier. Whether you’re dealing with a black out or just need to take a better look at a cut, a handheld light can be useful. We recommend a small light like this one from Streamlight, which can run off commonly found batteries. Put it with your kit and leave it there until you need it.
Having a well-stocked first aid kit is the first step to becoming more prepared for whatever life throws your way. However, a good first aid kit will only go so far. Coupling it with training is the best way to make sure you’re prepared.