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First Aid Kit

Like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, a first aid kit is a necessity for every home, cottage, and workplace. Accidents and injuries can happen to anyone at any time so it’s important to be prepared.  After you purchase or assemble a first aid kit, store it in a central location so it’s easily accessible. If your first aid kit contains medications, be sure to check expiration dates and replace as necessary.  Also, consider keeping a second first aid kit in your car because emergencies can happen on the road, too. 

Basic First Aid Kit Contents
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Every home should have a first-aid kit and everybody in the home should know how to use it. Taking time now to prepare will ensure you are equipped for emergencies.

 A basic first aid kit should include:

  • alcohol pads or antiseptic pads
  • Band-Aids (all sizes)
  • cotton balls and Q-tips
  • elastic bandages
  • hot and cold packs
  • medical tape
  • small container of sterile water or saline spray
  • soap and hand sanitizer
  • sterile gloves (vinyl or plastic)
  • sterile gauze roll and pads
  • triangular bandages
  • CPR mask with one-way valve

Over-the-counter medications

  • acetaminophen​ (Tylenol®)
  • aloe
  • antibiotic ointment (Polysporin®)
  • calamine lotion
  • hydrocortisone cream (1%)
  • ibuprofen (Advil®)
  • sunscreen (SPF of 30 or higher)

Other supplies

  • emergency blanket (stored nearby)
  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • insect repellent (10% or less DEET)
  • matches and candles
  • paper and pencil
  • safety pins
  • sharp scissors
  • splinting material
  • thermometer
  • tweezers
  • bottle of drinking water
  • basic pocket guide or first aid manual
  • other items specific to the activity or destination

Additional information

Extreme temperature differences may reduce the effectiveness of some medications. If possible, try to keep the contents of the first aid kit at room temperature.

Key points

  • Keep your first aid kit in a central location so it is easily accessible.
  • Try to keep the contents of the first aid kit at room temperature.
  • If your first aid kit contains medications, remember to check expiration dates and replace when necessary. Remember to keep out of reach of small children.
  • Consider keeping a basic first aid kit in your car.

Elly Berger, BA, MD, FRCPC, FAAP, MHPE

4/23/2013




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