First-aid kits should be kept in every home and every car. The more supplies your kit contains, the better you are protected against emergencies and common injuries.

Basic rules

  • You can either purchase a first-aid kit at a drugstore or assemble your own.
  • Regularly recheck your supplies (once every six months or more often) to replace medicines that were used up or have expired. Make sure that flashlight batteries work.
  • Thoroughly read the first-aid manual. It is strongly recommended that you also take a course in first aid.
  • Review the first-aid manual together with your kids.
  • Bring first-aid kits on family vacations: they should be packed in checked baggage.

First-Aid Kit infographics

Supplies List for a Family of Four

  • First-aid manual
  • Absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches, 2)
  • Adhesive bandages in assorted sizes (at least 25)
  • Adhesive cloth tape (10 yards long x 1 inch wide, 1)
  • Antibiotic ointment (1 gram, 5 packets)
  • Antiseptic spray (1)
  • Antiseptic solution (for instance, hydrogen peroxide, 1 bottle)
  • Antiseptic wipes (5 packets)
  • Eye shield (2)
  • Eyewash solution (1 bottle)
  • Lubricant like petroleum jelly (1 tube)
  • Sunburn relief ointment (1 tube)
  • Breathing barrier with one-way valve (1)
  • Elastic bandage (1)
  • Instant cold compress (1)
  • Nonlatex gloves (plastic, large, two pairs)
  • Roller bandage (3 inches wide, 1 and 4 inches wide, 1)
  • Sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches, 5 and 4 x 4 inches, 5)
  • Triangular bandages (2)
  • Scissors (1)
  • Tweezers (1)
  • Thermometer (oral, non-glass, non-mercury, 1)
  • Splint (1)
  • Syringe (5)
  • Medicine dosage cup or spoon (2)
  • Aluminum finger split (1)
  • Cotton balls (1 bag)
  • Cotton swabs (also called ‘Q-tips’, 1 pack)
  • Soap (1 bar)
  • Safety pins in assorted sizes (10)
  • Tooth preservation kit (prevents knocked out teeth from dying so they can be put back, 1)

Medications for a First-Aid Kit

  • Aloe vera gel (1)
  • Calamine lotion (1)
  • Aspirin (81 mg packets, 2). Aspirin should never be given to children!
  • Acetaminophen (liquid, 1 bottle)
  • Ibuprofen (tablets, 1 plastic bottle)
  • Hydrocortisone ointment packets (1%, 1 gram, 2 packets) or hydrocortisone cream (1%, 1 tube)
  • Anti-diarrhea medications, laxatives, antacids, antihistamines, and cough and cold medications (versions for both children and adults; consult your doctor before buying)
  • Prescription medications (for family members with prescriptions)
  • Notification of allergies that each of family members has

Emergency items for a First-Aid Kit

  • Emergency phone numbers (contacts of family doctors, pediatricians and dentists, the poison help line and emergency road service providers)
  • Flashlight (small, waterproof) and batteries
  • Space blanket (1)
  • Waterproof matches (at least 5 packs)
  • Solar charger for a cell phone (1)
  • Sunscreen (1 tube flask)
  • Insect repellant (1 tube flask)
  • Whistle (1)
  • Duct tape (1 roll)
  • Notepad and waterproof pens
  • Medical consent forms for every family member