Trips, falls, scrapes and cuts…. Accidents happen and if you have kids, they happen even more often! By having a well-stocked first aid kit on hand at all times, you will be prepared for whatever life throws your way. You can always buy a pre-made first aid kit, but you’ll benefit greatly from building and tailoring your own to your family’s needs. This includes a kit for at home and one you can take with you on the go.
Here are a few helpful tips to help you build the ultimate first aid kit for your family.
- Consider your family’s size
The size of your family should determine how much you stock up on the basics, like bandages and gauze. If you have pets, you’ll want to include them in your planning as well. And remember, it’s important to replace the items you use along the way, otherwise your well-stocked kit will get depleted throughout the year.
- Emergency contact list
In a true emergency you should always call 911, but there are other phone numbers you will want handy as well. Even though you can look up numbers on your phone, having a personalized emergency contact list can be very helpful during a stressful situation. You should include numbers to poison control, emergency contacts within your family and friends, and your veterinarian if you have pets.
- First aid checklist
Unless you’ve built a first aid kit before, you might not know what to include. According to the Red Cross, a well-stocked first aid kit should have the following essentials:
2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches) 25 adhesive bandages of assorted sizes
1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch) Antibiotic ointment packets
5 antiseptic wipe packets Aspirin
1 emergency blanket
breathing barrier (with one-way valve) 1 instant cold compress
pair of nonlatex gloves
Hydrocortisone ointment packets
1 three inch gauze roll (roller) bandage 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
5 sterile gauze pads (3 X 3 inches)
5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass) 2 triangular bandages
View the entire Red Cross list here.
Additionally, you may want to also consider adding:
- Emergency First Aid guide
- Nixall First Aid Solution
- Nixall Wound and Skin Solution
- VetRespons Wound + Skin Solution
If any member of your family requires prescription medication, you should aim to have a one-month supply on hand. Just keep in mind, there may be limitations to access to prescribed medications, including insurance limitations. Talk with your healthcare professional and insurance provider for details and options. You should also include non-prescription medication, like over-the-counter pain relievers, digestive medication and even medication for motion sickness.
- Additional emergency items
After you’ve stocked your first aid kit with all the essentials, you can add critical items to make it even more robust. This turns an ordinary first aid kit into a survival tool that can help your family in any type of emergency situation, from power outages to severe weather. This includes flashlights, an emergency radio, energy bars and water and a fire-source such as all-weather matches. You can learn more about building a survival kit from Ready.gov, the official government preparedness website.
Building your own first aid kit allows you to tailor it to your family’s specific needs. It can also give you a sense of security to know that you’re well prepared. Just remember, you should store your kit in a secure location, letting responsible adults know where it’s located. Additionally, you should check on it periodically to make sure nothing’s leaked or compromised, and restock it as needed.
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