Guide to Creating The Perfect First Aid Kit For Your Family

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A little girl with a plaster on her forehead

Let’s just assume everyone knows the importance of keeping a first aid kit in the home. That’s a given. It’s especially important now when we’re heading into Atlantic hurricane season, rolling tornado seasons across the country, and dangerous heat waves.

Consider the first aid kit that you may have:

  • Is it within easy reach – in a central location?
  • Is it portable, so you can grab it and go in case of emergency?
  • Do you have a setup for both your car and your house?
  • Are contents replaced/maintained regularly (more frequently over summer and in car kits)

How do you know the one(s) you have is complete? You need a kit that’s personalized to your family. If you have little ones, we’ll show you below how to make sure it’s kid-friendly as well.

Include a Cell Phone, With or Without Service

Is that old flip phone collecting dust somewhere? Include it in your first aid kit. All cell phones, whether they have service or not, are made to accept calls to 911.

For many households that no longer have a landline, this is absolutely a must! If an emergency arises, you may not have time to dig through your purse for your phone? What if you laid it somewhere and can’t quite remember where you left it? In an emergency, you may not have the presence of mind to find a lost phone. Keep one in your first aid kit. It may save you some precious time.

Keep the phone turned off, and include the charger in your first aid kit. Don’t forget to check it regularly to make sure it is charged!

Cell phones are especially important for your car or boat first aid kit. You don’t want to be caught away from home with no way to reach emergency services in case you need it.

The Essentials

Include important medical information, particularly if someone in your household has a medical condition or has special needs:

  • Name
  • Birthdate
  • Family doctor, addresses, and phone numbers
  • Name of medical conditions
  • List of medications
  • List of allergies (drug and food)
  • Emergency contact info

Include any other relevant information that will be helpful to emergency rescue workers that may need to intervene. Remember, this information is not there for anyone to play doctor, especially if someone is in a medical emergency.

Securely tape or sew this on your first aid kit. You may want to make a copy for your fridge, wallet, or by the landline phone.

Making Your Kit Kid-Friendly

A kid-friendly first aid kit
You’ll need kid-strength items and products that keep you ready for common kid injuries.

  • First-aid manual, such as the AMA Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care
  • Infant and/or child thermometers
  • Children's and/or infants' acetaminophen and ibuprofen, as recommended by your doctor
  • Antihistamines, as recommended by your doctor, for insect bites, hives, and allergic reactions
  • Anti-itch: topical calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream (.5%) for insect bites and rashes
  • Rubbing alcohol swabs to clean thermometers, tweezers, and scissors
  • Petroleum jelly to lubricate rectal thermometers
  • Triple-antibiotic ointment
  • Irrigating eye wash
  • Saline nose drops
  • Aloe gel for burns
  • Tweezers for removing splinters and ticks
  • A pair of sharp scissors
  • Child-safe sunscreen
  • Child-safe insect repellent
  • Nasal aspirator bulb
  • Adhesive kid-friendly bandage strips in various sizes and shapes
  • Gauze rolls (1/2 inch to 2 inches wide)
  • Gauze pads (2 x 2 inches and 4 x 4 inches)
  • Adhesive tape
  • Sterile cotton balls
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Latex-free & powder-free exam gloves
  • Mild liquid soap (most antibacterial and deodorant soaps are too strong for babies' sensitive skin)
  • An oral syringe or calibrated cup/spoon for medicine
  • A package of tongue depressors for checking sore throats
  • A hot water bottle and an ice pack
  • A small flashlight to check ears, nose, throat, and eyes
  • Blanket (space blanket)

Making It Really Easy

Shrink your first aid kit shopping list down from the big list above to just one item: KidSafe offers doctor-recommended, award-winning, and kid-friendly first aid kits here. You can also grab yourself some portable kits for your purse or car.

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