36 Products You Need in Your First Aid Kit
A well-stocked first aid kit can be a total lifesaver in case of emergencies. Whether it’s cuts and scrapes from a minor injury or a sudden cold and fever, it’s important to have everything you need within reach for quick diagnostics and primary treatment.
A first aid kit is not only an absolute must-have if you frequently hike, camp, or go on road trips; you should also have one on standby at home, in the office, or in your car. While we all wish you’d need nothing more than the occasional Band-Aid, it’s best to be prepared for whatever life throws at you.
Whether you want to have a basic starter kit or go all out, The Boardwalk Pharmacy has got you covered. Knowing what is in a first aid kit can be life-saving! In this article, we’ve listed down several essential items that you should consider including in your first aid kit.
Let’s get started!
What Is in a First Aid Kit?
A first aid kit can be a bag, box, or any waterproof container that holds emergency supplies for treating minor traumatic injuries, preventing infection, or managing pain and bleeding while waiting for professional medical help to arrive.
For starters, the Red Cross recommends keeping the following items in your first aid kit if you’re a family of four.
- 2x absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25x adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1x adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5x antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5x antiseptic wipe packets
- 2x packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1x emergency blanket
- 1x breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1x instant cold compress
- 2 pairs of latex-free gloves
- 2x hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1x 3 inch gauze roll (roller) bandage
- 1x roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5x sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5x sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- 2x triangular bandages
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
- Hydrogen peroxide for disinfection
- Insect repellent lotion
- Calamine lotion
- Isopropyl alcohol
Whether you’re building a home or travel first aid kit, we recommend adding over-the-counter medication for quick relief of common health conditions such as headaches, migraines, diarrhea, sore throat, coughing, allergic reactions, and other minor illnesses.
- Ibuprofen (Advil) for pain
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain
- Antihistamines for allergies (Allegra, Benadryl, Claritin)
- Antacids for stomach acidity (Tums, Pepcid, Gaviscon)
- Imodium or Loperamide for diarrhea
- Sudafed or Drixoral to ease a stuffy nose and sinus pressure
- Throat lozenges for an itchy and irritated throat (Buckley’s or Fisherman’s Friend)
- Bismuth tabs for upset stomach, heartburn, and nausea
- Oral rehydration tablets or sachets
- Dramamine for motion sickness
- Cough and cold medications
- Stool softener (laxative)
- Epinephrine auto-injector (if prescribed by your doctor)
Why Have Aspirin in Your First Aid Kit
Having Aspirin in your first aid kit can be extremely helpful if an adult suffers from a heart attack or sudden and unexplainable chest pain. It is proven to manage the pain and keep the situation under control until an ambulance arrives.
Nevertheless, check with your doctor first to determine if you don’t have an allergic reaction to Aspirin. Some individuals are known to experience flushing, itching, hives, and asthma attacks within an hour of taking it. Bleeding and other complications have been noted in people who take Aspirin while on blood thinners. Never give Aspirin to children.
Noteworthy Items to Include
- A first aid manual with detailed instructions and applications on how to use the different medication and supplies in your kit
- Emergency contact numbers (family doctor, pediatrician, fire services, ambulance, poison help hotline)
- Medical history documents and consent forms for each family member
- Portable and waterproof flashlight with extra batteries
- Waterproof matchsticks
Where Should You Store Your First Aid Kit?
Strategically place your first aid kit in an accessible location.
For home first aid kits, the kitchen is the best place to store it instead of the bathroom, which often has high humidity levels and can affect the lifespan of certain medicines.
Pack travel first aid kits in your checked luggage to avoid the hassle of airport security inspection. There may be in-flight restrictions about specific items, especially liquid ones. On the other hand, you might want to consider building a smaller first aid kit that you can fit in your carry-on bag; limited to items that are allowed by your airline.
Keep on-the-go first aid kits in the glove compartment or the trunk of your car.
Maintenance Tips for Your Kit
- Curate the contents of your first aid kit depending on where you’re going and how long you intend to stay on the road. Travel first aid kits should always be compact and portable.
- Print out a list of the contents of your first aid kit for easy reference and management.
- Check your first aid kit regularly for used up or expiring items; replace and replenish as needed.
- Brief your children on how to handle a variety of emergency situations and make sure older kids know where to find the first aid kit.
- Consider taking the Red Cross’ emergency first aid course in your area.
Store-Bought vs. DIY First Aid Kits
One of the most convenient options would be to buy a pre-packed first aid kit sold commercially.
Ready-made first aid kits are widely available in most pharmacies and retail stores. The best thing about them is that the contents are usually predetermined by experts who have experience in first aid care. You will also have a lot of options to select from, depending on your budget. Nevertheless, you have to be meticulous in choosing and checking the contents in terms of quality and usefulness.
On the other hand, you can also assemble one yourself that’s tailored to your specific needs and medical history, particularly if you have asthma, allergies, or any other existing illnesses. Making your own first aid kit means you have full control over the quality, quantity, size, and extent of how prepared you can be in different situations.
Shopping for First Aid Kit Essentials? The Boardwalk Pharmacy Has Got Your Back!
The Boardwalk Pharmacy carries a wide range of products, including everything you need for your first aid kit. Whether you’re shopping for over-the-counter medication or looking to refill prescriptions, our convenient delivery services bring all of these offerings right to your front door. There’s no need to stand in line or wait for hours just to get the proper care you deserve.Visit our store in Kitchener-Waterloo, or contact us today for more information on our online prescription refill services!