Nobody ever thinks about first aid kits until they need one. However, when an injury does occur and there isn’t a first aid kit, it can not only be frustrating, it can also be harmful to your health. First aid kits are essential for your home, your car, and also for when you’re traveling or camping. Having access to a first aid kit will provide proper medical care for minor injuries, reduce unnecessary suffering and help fight off infection.
Essential First Aid Kit Items
Ready America, a safety service from FEMA, has prepared a short list of essential first aid kit items. They include:
- Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
- Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
- Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
- Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
- Burn ointment to prevent infection.
- Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
- Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
- Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers.
- You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
- Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.
The above list is a good start for a home-made first aid kit, but it only contains the bare essentials. Personally, I prefer to get a first aid kit that’s been professionally assembled and packaged in a portable case. Buying professionally packaged first aid kits are not only cheaper, they also have many more items for handling a multitude of injuries.
Best First Aid Kit
The best first aid kit I’ve been able to find is a 326 piece kit that exceeds OSHA and ANSI‘s guidelines. Some of the contents include:
- Antibacterial Bandages
- Disposable Thermometer
- Hydrogen Peroxide Spray Pump
- Larger Sting Relief Pads
- Thicker Sterile Gauze Sponges
- Instant Chemical Cold Pack 6″ x 9″
- Reusable Hot/Cold Gel Pack 6″ x 9″
- 27 Antiseptic Towlettes
- 27 Alcohol Prep Pads
- 9 Povidone Iodine Prep Pads
- 1 Eye Wash 1 oz.
- 20 Cotton Tip Applicators
- 6 Examination Gloves
- 1 Hydrogen Peroxide Spray Pump
- 10 Antiseptic Ointment Packets
- 12 Sting Relief Pads (for insect bites)
- 5 Burn Cream Ointments
- 10 Antacid Tablets
- 12 Ibuprofen Tablets
- 12 Non-Aspirin Tablets
- 1 Instant Chemical Cold Pack 6″ x 9″
- 1 Reusable Hot/Cold Gel Pack 6″ x 9″
- 40 Adhesive Bandages – 3/8″ x 1 1/2″
- 30 Adhesive Bandages – 3″ x 3/4″
- 10 Antibacterial Bandages – 3″ x 3/4″
- 15 Adhesive Bandages – 1″x 3″
- 10 Antibacterial Bandages – 1″ x 3″
- 5 Butterfly Closure Bandages
- 12 Wound Closure Strips 1/4″ x 1 1/2″
- 4 Knuckle Bandages
- 1 Adhesive Tape Roll – 1/2″ x 2.5 yds.
- 1 Adhesive Tape Roll – 1″ x 5 yds.
- 3 Non-Adherent Gauze Pads 2″ x 3″
- 8 Sterile Gauze Pads – 2″ x 2″
- 8 Sterile Gauze Pads – 4″ x 4″
- 1 Sterile Trama Sponge – 5″ x 9″
- 2 Gauze Rolls – 2″ x 4.1 yds.
- 1 Triangular Bandage 40″ x 40″ x 56″
- 2 Round Eye Pad 2″
- 5 Insect Repellent Packets (1 gram)
- 4 Finger Splints
- 3 Disposable Thermometers
- 1 Metal Tweezer 3″
- 1 Metal Scissor
- 3 Splinter Removers
- 1 English First Aid Instruction Guide
- 1 Spanish First Aid Instruction Guide
As you can see, a first aid kit like this is very comprehensive, and certainly easier and cheaper to purchase than to build yourself. Most first aid kits like this sell for around $30-$40. At the time of this writing, this first aid kit with hard case was priced at $35.85. Here’s a full list of first aid kits to choose from.