Splinters, scrapes, nosebleeds, bumps, cuts, bites, scratches, burns—these are the kinds of minor injuries that are both annoying and inevitable in everyday life. Be ready to deal with them by making sure your family has a well-stocked first aid kit, complete with items such as bandages, tweezers, gauze and antibiotic ointment.
The American Red Cross recommends that first aid kits for a family of four include:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pairs of nonlatex gloves
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
First aid kits are available for purchase already assembled, or you can buy the contents and make your own. Keep one at home and one in the car for emergencies.
Most importantly, familiarize yourself with the first aid instruction booklet so that you’re not flipping through in a frenzy when first aid is required. I also recommend attending a first aid class. The kit will be more valuable if you’re comfortable with how to use it.
Sending your son or daughter off to college this fall? Make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date, and include a first aid kit with your child’s current medications on the packing list.