Do you have a first aid kit or medicine cabinet/drawer in your home? It’s a good idea to keep basic medical supplies on hand in case of emergencies, especially if you have kids around.
In my house, we have a variety of medical supplies in several places, and sometimes we can’t find what we’re looking for. I’ve even ended up buying multiples of things we already have because I couldn’t find them! One of my fall projects is to organize all the first aid supplies to see what we have and what we need to buy. So, I thought I’d share some of my process with you!
Let me know what supplies you keep in your first aid kits in the comments! I’d love to get ideas from you in case I’ve missed something important.
First Aid Kit Supplies
You can find pre-made first aid kits at drugstores, grocery stores, retailers, and online stores. These kits are handy if you don’t know what to include, or if you don’t want to take the time to assemble the supplies yourself.
However, pre-made kits sometimes include items you or your family may not need, and there may not be extra space to include other items specific to your family. Keep this in mind when deciding whether to buy one that’s already put together or making your own first aid kit.
According to the Mayo Clinic, here’s a list of basic supplies you should have on hand:
- Bandages of various sizes
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton balls and cotton swabs
- Disposable non-latex gloves
- Scissors and tweezers
- Hand sanitizer
- Antibiotic ointment
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Instant cold packs
You may also want to keep some basic medications in your kit, such as:
- Aloe vera gel
- Calamine lotion
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Cough and cold medications
- Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
You can see the full list of supply and medication recommendations from the Mayo Clinic here.
In addition to basic supplies, it’s important also to have a first aid manual. You should also include emergency phone numbers in your kit, such as contact information for your health care providers, local emergency services, and emergency road service providers (if the kit is in your car). Be sure to have the numbers for the poison help lines available, as well! You can reach Poison Control online at www.poison.com or by calling 800-222-1222; help is free, confidential, and available 24/7.
The American Red Cross recommends that you check and update your first aid supplies regularly and replace any outdated contents. Be sure to check expiration dates! You’ll also want to be sure you have any personal medications or supplies that are specific to you and your family in your kit.
Where should you keep your first aid kit?
It’s important to have access to first aid supplies in your home. We keep supplies in both bathrooms because they’re on separate levels of our house. If you live in an area that is prone to weather-related events, such as tornadoes or hurricanes, you may want to tailor your kit and its location based on those.
It’s also a good idea to keep a small supply kit in your car. You can easily find small pre-made kits that can slip into your glove compartment, console, or into a seat organizer. You never know when you’ll need a few bandages!
Depending on where your kit is located, there are additional supplies you might want to have available, such as waterproof flashlights, extra batteries, headlamps and waterproof matches. You could also include things like sunscreen, bug repellant, blankets, and extra cell phone chargers. Your emergency kit is a great place to have a solar charger!
If you participate in certain activities like camping or hiking, you can also buy first aid kits that include items specific to those activities. Keep first aid kits with your other supplies for these activities so you don’t forget to bring them along on your adventures! The supplies in our car came in handy when we were fishing with our family one day, and one of my nephews cut his hand on a fish hook. We were able to take care of the cut right away because we were prepared with bandages!
If you have kids or pets in your home, be sure to keep your first aid supplies out of reach. However, make sure older children know where the supplies are stored and what they’re used for.
Scan and submit your supply purchases
Don’t forget to include your first-aid supply purchases in the shopping trips you report to NCP! Whether you’re buying a pre-made kit, purchasing supplies to create your own, or restocking the items you already have in your home, we want to know about it. First-aid supplies are often items purchased when we need them, instead of part of a regular shopping trip, so it can be easy to forget about them.
Share with us in the comments what types of items you keep in your kits, where you keep them, and any other suggestions you have. We’d love to hear from you!
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