Safety First! Preparing Your Home First Aid Kit

By Colleen McTiernan
Stethoscope, first aid kit, and medicine on blue background

In the case of an accident or illness, it’s important to feel assured you have the supplies needed to keep you and your family safe and healthy. While each family’s specific needs will differ, Mayo Clinic and American Red Cross recommend keeping these 10 must-have items in your home first aid kit.

First aid instruction manual

What good is a first aid kit if you’re not sure what to do with all your supplies? The American Red Cross recommends keeping an instruction booklet in your kit to help with any out-of- the-ordinary situations.

Disposable latex gloves

When taking care of an injury, keeping the wound as sanitary as possible is important! Make sure to wear gloves to prevent infection or the transmittance of blood borne disease.


Naturally, bandages are an essential in a first aid kit. From adhesive bandages to rolls of elastic wrap, you’ll want to have an assortment of bandages for any accidents, large and small, that may occur.

Antibiotic and Hydrocortisone ointments

These two types of ointments are great for cleaning up cuts and treating those itchy bug bites and rashes kids always seem to have. It’s good to have these on hand in your at-home first aid kit.

Aspirin (ibuprofen For children)

Your family’s trusted pain relievers and fever reducers, whether over-the-counter brands or homeopathic alternatives, are great to have on hand when immediate aid is needed. The Mayo Clinic also advises keeping non-aspirin pain relievers in your kit, as aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome, a serious and sometimes fatal condition, if given to children.

Antiseptic wipes before bandaging

Before bandaging a cut, be sure to disinfect the area to prevent infection. Having one of these ready-to-use wipes is a great timesaver.

Scissors and tweezers

Scissors and tweezers are both useful additions to your first aid kit. The scissors will come in handy for cutting gauze strips to size and tweezers are always good to have in case of splinters.

Gauze pads and rolled gauze

When a job is too big for an adhesive bandage, use gauze to cover the wound.

Instant cold packs

For all the bumps and bruises life throws your way, make sure you have instant cold packs on hand.

Activated charcoal tablets

Activated charcoal can be used to help manage a poisoning. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, you should always contact a poison control center before using the tablets.

Giggle Tip!

Add a thermometer to your kit to keep track of fevers!

Mobile first aid

First aid is often needed while your family is on-the- go. Consider adding these items to a second first aid kit that is kept in the car:

  • Sunscreen
  • Personal medications
  • Medications to treat an allergic attack, if prescribed by your doctor
  • Emergency phone numbers, including emergency road service providers

Always check with your healthcare professional regarding any medical questions you may have. Call 911 in the case of a life-threatening emergency.

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