Your First Aid Kit: What Should it Include?

You should make sure that you and your family are prepared to treat common symptoms, injuries, and emergencies. By planning ahead, you can create a well-stocked home first aid kit. Keep all of your supplies in one location so you know exactly where they are when you need them. The following items are basic supplies. You can get most of them at a pharmacy or supermarket.

Bandages and dressings

  • Adhesive bandages (Band-Aid or similar brand); assorted sizes
  • Sterile gauze pads and adhesive tape
  • Elastic (ACE) bandage for wrapping wrist, ankle, knee, and elbow injuries
  • Triangular bandage for wrapping injuries and making an arm sling
  • Aluminum finger splints
  • Eye shield, pads, and bandages

Home health equipment

  • Thermometer
  • Syringe, medicine cup, or medicine spoon for giving specific doses of medicine
  • Disposable, instant ice bags
  • Tweezers, to remove ticks and small splinters
  • Sterile cotton balls
  • Sterile cotton-tipped swabs
  • Blue “baby bulb” or “turkey baster” suction device
  • Save-A-Tooth storage device in case a tooth is broken or knocked out; contains a travel case and salt solution
  • First-aid manual

Medicine for cuts and injuries

  • Antiseptic solution, such as hydrogen peroxide or wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment, such as bacitracin, polysporin, or mupirocin
  • Sterile eyewash, such as contact lens saline solution
  • Calamine lotion for stings or poison ivy
  • Hydrocortisone cream, ointment, or lotion for itching

Be sure to check your kit regularly, and replace any supplies that are getting low or which have expired. Above content provided by the National Institutes of Health in partnership with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.