How to Create a Fully Stocked First Aid Kit

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Emergencies can happen when you least expect them. To help prepare for the unexpected, having a well-stocked first aid kit on hand can give you a critical advantage to first response.

Brian Seymour, MD, Emergency Department Medical Director of Ochsner Medical Center - North Shore, says, “Whether on the soccer field or fishing on your boat, you never know when you will need a first aid kit. They are easy to stash in a backpack or glove box. Just remember to check yours once a year to ensure the supplies are up to date.”

Here’s a simple way to prepare for most minor emergencies: Stash first aid kits, customized to meet your family’s needs, in your home, car and carry-on bag when traveling. Be sure to keep them current—periodically check batteries and toss expired products—and keep out of children’s reach.

Here’s an overview of the basics!

For the Family:

  • Emergency contact information
  • Flashlight
  • First aid instruction booklet
  • Personal medications
  • 2 absorbent compress dressings
  • 25 adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • Space blanket
  • Breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • Instant cold compress
  • 2 pairs nonlatex gloves
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets
  • Scissors
  • 2 roller bandages
  • 10 sterile gauze pads
  • Oral thermometer (nonmercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers

Additional Items for babies:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Baby nail clippers
  • Cotton balls and/or swabs
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Medicine syringe
  • Bulb suction and saline drops
  • Rectal thermometer
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Moist towelettes
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Baby formula and/or food

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