Everything You Need To Have In Your First Aid Kit


A well stocked first aid kit takes the panic out of emergency situations. If you're putting together a first aid kit for your home, office, or car, you need to know what to put it in it. Confused by all of your options? Here's an easy to reference list of what every first aid kit should have.

Basic Tools:

You'll need a collection of disposable and non-disposable tools in order to easily and safely treat the issues that come your way. Keep these tools on hand at all times:

  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Latex and non-latex gloves
  • Face mask
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic baggies
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers
  • Hand sanitizer


A variety of bandage types and sizes ensures you're ready to treat everything from small scrapes to larger cuts and wounds. Try to have at least some of the following in your first aid kit to cover all your bases:

  • 20-25 adhesive bandages of varying sizes
  • 1 roll adhesive cloth tape
  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 is a good size)
  • 8-10 sterile gauze pads of varying sizes
  • 1-2 eye shields or pads
  • 1 triangle bandage


A good rule of thumb is to always keep personal prescription medications (that don't need refrigeration) on hand in your first aid kit while traveling. Additionally, a variety of over the counter medications can be useful in an emergency situation. Keep the following on hand at all times:

  • Antihistamines
  • Pain relievers - consider keeping several different types (such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen) on hand
  • Calamine lotion
  • Hydrocortisone cream or lotion (for itching)
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacids
  • Cough and cold medicine
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellant
  • Aloe vera gel


Make sure you have everything you need when you need it by including these miscellaneous items in your first aid kit:

  • First aid instruction booklet
  • Any necessary information/instructions for the medication you've included
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Eye wash
  • Aluminum finger splint
  • Flashlight
  • Emergency spare blanket (if your kit is large enough)
  • Waterproof matches
  • Whistle

Homemade Vs. Premade Kits

If you're not feeling confident about putting together your own first aid kit, a pre-made kit is a great way to get started. Buying a premade kit makes sure you have all the basics covered, while giving you flexibility to add products that your needs and lifestyle require.

However you choose to put together your first aid kit, remember to replace each item as you run out, and to keep your kit in a safe, easy to access location.

Congratulations on your choice to be prepared!

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