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What Should be in a First Aid Kit?

Deanna Baranyi
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Injuries can happen at home or away from home at any time – whether during an auto accident, in the event of a natural disaster, or as a result of other threats. If so, it is important to have a fully-stocked first aid kit readily available. One first aid kit must always remain in the home, and the other first aid kit is perfect for the car.

The first aid kit for the home should be in a clean, large container that is simple to open and easy to transport. If it is too bulky or too hard to open, it could be detrimental if a significant injury occurs. By having it be large and roomy, it is easy for supplies to be found in haste.

The first aid kit for the home should contain the following items:
•Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin
• Cough suppressants
• Antihistamines
• Decongestants
• Dropper for oral medicine, if there are children in the family
• Possibly prescription medication, if it is going to be stored in a different area than where prescription drugs are kept
• Several sizes of bandages
• Safety pins
• Elastic wraps
• Gauze
• Adhesive tape
• Scissors with sharp blades
• Alcohol wipes
• Antibiotic ointment
Antiseptic cleanser, such as hydrogen peroxide
• Self-activating cold packs
• Tweezers

It is a good practice to keep a list of the items in the kit accessible. It is also important to have dosages clearly written for each medicine, so that time will not be wasted determining dosage. The portable first aid kit should also be roomy so that items can be quickly found. In addition, it should also be very durable, so that it can withstand wear and tear from being in the trunk of the car.

The idea behind the portable first aid kit is that it will be with you whenever you are away from home. Whether it is used in case of a fall, a sports injury, a natural disaster, or a terrorist threat, you will have everything you need at your fingertips – and you can be miles from home. The portable first aid kit should have the same items as the home kit, but should also include the following items:

• Prescription drugs (where prescription medication is optional for the home kit, it is mandatory for the portable kit)
• Thermometer
• Latex or rubber gloves
• Flashlight and batteries
• Mouthpiece in case CPR is needed
• Emergency numbers

Because both first aid kits have medicine, they should be located someplace where young children cannot reach the contents. It is important to have the contents fit the needs of each family. If there are infants, toddlers and adults in the family, then the items should fit the needs of all three. For example, small bandages are good for small children, with larger ones for adults.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Deanna Baranyi
By Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her work. With degrees in relevant fields and a keen ability to understand and connect with target audiences, she crafts compelling copy, articles, and content that inform and engage readers.
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Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her...
Learn more
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