First Aid Kit Essentials

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Building Your Own First Aid Kit

You never know when there might be an emergency where someone needs minor medical assistance. By keeping a stocked first aid kit at home and in your car (and having the

knowledge of how to use each item), you’ll always be prepared to help. Here’s a list of the top items you should have in your first aid kit.

First Aid Kit Checklist

1. First Aid Guide - provides guidance for using the items in your first aid kit.

2. Bandages & Wound Cleaning Supplies

Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes) – to protect small wounds, cuts and scrapes that are not serious enough to require a full-size bandage.

Roller bandage - to secure a dressing (pad or compress that protects a wound and prevents infection) in place.

Triangular bandages - used as an arm sling (or can be used as a pad to control bleeding).

Hydrocortisone ointment packets – to help relieve minor skin irritations, inflammation, itching and rashes.

Hydrogen peroxide - to prevent minor scrapes, cuts and burns from getting infected.

Antibiotic ointment packets - to prevent minor scrapes, cuts and burns from getting infected. They also speed up healing.

Antiseptic wipe packets - to decrease germs in minor scrapes, cuts and burns.

Sterile gauze pads - for cleaning and covering scrapes, cuts and minor burns.

Adhesive cloth tape - to attach bandages, gauze and other dressings to the skin surrounding a wound.

Absorbent compress dressings - to help stop bleeding from deep cuts and abrasions, burns, penetration wounds and fractures.

Nonlatex gloves – to reduce the risk of infection and cross-contamination. They’re preferable to latex due to the risk of a person having a latex allergy.

3. Over-the-counter Medications

Aspirin - can be lifesaving for an adult with chest pain.

Ibuprofen - for mild pain relief, inflammation, and muscle relaxation.

Acetaminophen – to help with pain relief and fever reduction.

Antihistamines – to help with allergic reactions, rashes, and itching.

Throat lozenges – to provide relief from a sore throat.

Cold medication - to provide relief from cold symptoms.

4. Emergency Blanket – to help prevent shock and prevent body heat loss for those suffering from hypothermia.

5. Breathing Barrier with One-way Valve - for protection during CPR. The one-way valve helps to avoid mouth-to-mouth contact, which helps to prevent the risk of infection or contamination.

6. Instant Cold Compress – to help with pain relief and reduce swelling from strains, sprains, minor burns, contusions, toothaches and insect bites.

7. Thermometer (Non-mercury/non-glass) - to check if a person’s body temperature is too hot or cold.

8. Tweezers - for splinter, stinger and tick removal.

9. Scissors - to cut bandages to fit wounds and help remove dressings.

First Aid Kit Reminders & Tips

  • Include medications and emergency phone numbers.
  • Check your kit regularly and replace items that have been used or are expiring.
  • Keep your kit accessible, but not within reach of small children.

Now you’re ready to build your own first aid kit so you can help in many possible emergency situations. You’ll find most of these first aid kit items as well as premade kits in-store and on our website. Our pharmacists are happy to answer any questions, and remember, always call 911 in a serious medical emergency.

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