Emergencies have no mercy. They don’t call ahead to see if you’re busy; they are always unpredictable and unplanned. Preparation is vital! First aid kits have helped people navigate their way through emergencies of all kinds – and even save lives.
Whether you’re a medically-trained first responder or not, it may become your job to save someone’s life. Although it’s possible to go out and buy a survival kit, you may want to custom-design your own. If you prepare your own first aid kit or survival kit, you’ll know what tools you have inside, and how you can effectively use each item. This will increase your chance of handling an emergency successfully.
First Aid Kits: Three Important Factors to Consider
First aid kits can be customized for your needs, whether you will use them personally, or use them for your family members or co-workers.
There are three factors that affect what should go into a first aid kit:
- People (Who might need medical assistance?)
- Location (Where would the first aid kit potentially be used?)
- Circumstance (What emergency could realistically arise?)
As you consider what you should include in your kit, remember the following:
- Its contents should be helpful to the ones that may need it.
- Its contents should be easy to find and reach.
- Its contents should be helpful in handling realistic emergencies.
- The kit should be easy to store and access.
- The kit should be easily transportable.
For example, the use of a tourniquet may be more realistic on a hiking trip than in your office. Do you really want it taking up space, at the cost of small adhesive bandages and antibacterial cream? Or if you’re packing an emergency preparedness bag (also called a “go-bag”), its first-aid kit should include lightweight alcohol wipes instead of a 16-oz bottle of rubbing alcohol so your bag isn’t too heavy. Also, think of allergies: if someone in your family is allergic to acetaminophen, include ibuprofen as a fever-reducer instead.
First Aid Survival Kit Checklist
Some emergencies can arise anywhere. Here are some basic items that standard first aid kits should include:
- absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- antiseptic wipe packets (alcohol or iodine)
- packets of fever reducer (such as ibuprofen)
- compact blanket (space blanket)
- CPR face shield (with one-way valve) or a pocket resuscitator
- instant cold compress
- non-latex or nitrile gloves
- hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- rolled bandages
- antiseptic wash or wound spray
- sterile gauze pads
- burn dressing gauze
- packing strips
For home and car kits, be sure to also include:
- emergency contact information for
- your family doctor and pediatrician
- local emergency services
- emergency road service providers
- medical consent forms for each family member
- medical history forms for each family member
- any medication that is regularly needed
Car survival kits should include:
For hiking or camping survival kits, be sure to include:
- waterproof flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
- waterproof matches
- blood pressure monitor
- insect repellant
First responders might include the following in their first aid kits:
- portable vial roll-up holder
- vial and syringe travel case
- tamper-evident syringe case
- suture removal kit
Be sure to review your first aid kits regularly. All batteries should be functional and any used or expired supplies should be replaced.
Though you can’t control when or where an emergency will strike, a first aid kit or survival kit can give you peace of mind; you’ll know that you’re prepared. Whether you are a first responder, a concerned parent, or a conscientious office manager, Med Lab Supply has what you need for your first aid kit.