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First Aid Kit Essential Checklist

It is important to be prepared for whatever life throws at you. One way you can do this is to have a well-stocked first aid kit. What items should you include?

Depending upon who you ask, the following is a list of items everyone should have available for emergencies. The American Red Cross suggests having at the very least:

  • Adhesive bandages or band aids. You’ll want to have various sizes available for whatever injuries could be sustained.
  • Sterile gauze pads in a variety of shapes and sizes. These are for cleaning wounds and covering those which can’t be covered with standard bandages. You’ll also need some adhesive tape to secure the pads.
  • Disposable latex-free gloves. These will protect you from getting bodily fluids in cuts or scrapes. Being latex-free will help you or those you’re working on avoid allergic reactions.
  • Tweezers are often needed to remove splinters.
  • Thermometer is needed to check temperatures. The best choice for speed and accuracy as well as being much safer than thermometers with mercury.
  • Triple-antibiotic ointment to use on wounds after they have been cleansed. It isn’t necessary to get a name brand as generic versions are as effective and cost less. The ointment will keep wounds from becoming infected.
  • Antiseptic wipes will cleanse a wound.
  • Instructions for basic first aid treatment.
  • Antihistamine cream to use on allergic reactions, stings or itchy skin. Hydrocortisone is another type of cream to have handy.
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever. You may want to keep pediatric and adult formulas available at all times. You may want to include both acetaminophen and ibuprofen as they work differently within the body. These will help relieve pain as well as lower fevers.
  • A face mask to protect you and others from germs. A mouth-guard for protecting you while administering CPR is also a good item to have included in your first aid kit.
  • Instant use cold packs are helpful in reducing swelling from injury as well as minor burns and bites. These are inert until squeezed and then they become cool.
  • If you have young children, sunscreen, SPF 15 or higher, is also a good item to keep in your first aid kit. These are particularly important for use on children younger than six months of age as their skin is so delicate and easily burned.

Once you have your first aid kit items gathered, you will want some place to store them. While you can purchase a pre-filled first aid kit, that’s not your only option. Purchase a small tackle box and fill the kit with items you deem necessary as well as with the items recommended by others.