The Essential Components of a First Aid Kit

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Always keep a stocked one in the bathroom.

Whether a member of your family is prone to scrapes and cuts or you only get hurt or sick once in a blue moon, you should always have a ready supply of basic first aid supplies available somewhere in your home. I can tell you from experience that few things freak you out like an empty box of Band-Aids when you have an open wound, so always make sure you’re well-stocked.


A full-on medical grade first aid kit has all sorts of stuff in it for situations beyond simple cuts and bruises, such as emergency blankets, hand-crank radios, and clean water. While those are certainly not bad things to have handy, let’s keep things simple today. Your basic DIY first aid kid needs six things:

  1. Bandages and Wraps: You’ll want varying sizes of adhesive strip (AKA Band-Aids), as well as a roll of medical gauze to wrap up any kind of injury.
  2. Antiseptic: antibacterial soap and hydrogen peroxide are needed to clean wounds and prevent infection.
  3. Creams and ointments: aloe vera and anti-itch creams are good for rashes, burns, and bug bites.
  4. Pain relievers: You should have a few varieties of pain pills, both drowsy and nondrowsy, as well as kid friendly ones if, y’know, you have kids. Common ones include ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
  5. Simple medicines: Antihistamines for allergic reactions, pepto for stomach problems, and any other simple, over-the-counter stuff you find yourself frequently needing.
  6. Medical tools: Sturdy, easily cleaned tools are vital for certain treatments. You should have a pair of tweezers, an electric thermometer, some blunt scissors, and a cold compress.
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Store all of these items in a waterproof container somewhere they can be easily accessed, such as in the bathroom or under the kitchen sink. Make sure everyone in your household knows where the container is, and if possible, how to use everything in it. Basic first aid is an extremely important skill that everyone should have.