Be prepared for any kind of accident this summer by stocking your first aid kit with items on our checklists.
School is out, and the time for outdoor adventure has arrived. But if you, your children, or other family members get hurt, stung, ill, or otherwise injured, you need to have some basic items on hand at all times. Are you prepared? To help you get started on stocking your own kit, make sure you can have everything on our first aid kit checklist and first aid kit medicine list.
First Aid Kit Checklist
Whether you buy a pre-prepared first aid kit or prepare your own, it is recommended to be over-prepared rather than underprepared. While the amounts of these items will vary according to your needs, it is recommended to have at least five of each type of bandaging in case you forget to restock the kit:
- Sterile bandages of varying shapes and sizes
- Sterile gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Roll of gauze
- Elastic bandaging (like ACE Wraps)
- Sterile cotton balls and Q-tips
In addition to bandaging, you will need other essential tools and equipment to administer first aid:
- 2 pairs of gloves (We suggest having a latex and non-latex pair in case of allergies.)
- Inactivated cold pack
- Metal fasteners or clothes pins
- Finger splint
- CPR mouth barrier
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid instruction manual (If you buy a pre-prepared kit, this should come with it.)
- List of emergency phone numbers
- Disposable medication cups
First Aid Kit Medicine List
Most medical emergencies require more than a Band-Aid, so your first aid kit should also be equipped with certain over-the-counter medicines. Make sure the following medicines are checked off in your first aid kit checklist:
- Pain reliever/fever reducer – Depending on your tolerance level and preference, this could include acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. To cover all of your bases, however, all three medications should be included in your first aid kit. Note that you should never take more than 3,000 mg of acetaminophen within 24 hours. You may alternate acetaminophen and ibuprofen every 2-hours until a fever breaks.
- Allergy medications – Diphenhydramine and other antihistamines are used for seasonal allergies. Take two diphenhydramine (Benadryl) every 4-6 hours as needed if you have an allergic reaction.
- Antidiarrheal medications – Only take antidiarrheal medications as prescribed. If you take loperamide (Imodium), take two caplets after the first loose stool. Follow with one caplet after each subsequent loose stool without taking more than six caplets per day.
- Stomach medications – When you have an upset stomach, heartburn, or indigestion, take a single dosage of Pepto Bismol or Dramamine or an antacid as directed on the product’s label.
- Triple antibiotic ointment (TAO) – After cleaning a shallow wound or cut, apply a TAO like Neosporin to the area. Then, apply your dressing or bandage.
- Hydrocortisone cream – If you get an insect bite, hydrocortisone alleviates some of the itching. Apply a dime-sized amount to the area, and rub it in.
- Aloe Vera – Keep an Aloe Vera gel in your first aid kit in case you get a minor burn. If the skin is black, or you are unable to feel the burn, do not apply anything and see a physician immediately.
If you require other medications in case of personal medical emergencies, keep a dose of each in your first aid kit along with an index card with instructions. It is also important to check your first aid kit yearly for expired medications and replace as necessary.
Once you have your first aid kit stocked, remember to take it with you. The best way to avoid being left without it during an emergency is to create two kits: one for your car and one for your house.
If you have any specific questions about medications you may need in your first aid kit, talk to your pharmacist at Smith-Caldwell Drug Store by calling 501-392-5470.