Do you have a first aid kit in your home? What about in the car or on your boat? For many people, a few boxes of adhesive bandages tossed in the cupboard account for the entirety of their “kit.” If you want to be safe, no matter where you go, a portable first aid kit is one of the easiest things to put together. Instead of making several separate kits, you can make one and take it with you on the go.
The first thing to decide is what you will be using to keep your supplies together. A soft-sided lunch box, a child’s backpack, or even a tackle box make great portable containers. Chances are you can find one of these things at the local dollar store or on sale at your favorite big box store.
The size of your kit will depend on the number of people in your family. The Red Cross has released its recommendations for building a first aid kit for a family of four. Supplies should include:
One Each of:
- Adhesive cloth tape
- Space blanket
- Breathing barrier
- Instant cold compress
- 3-inch roller bandage
- 4-inch roller bandage
- First aid instruction booklet
Two Each of:
- Absorbent compress dressings
- Packets of aspirin
- Pairs of non-latex gloves
- Hydrocortisone packets (or one large tube)
- Triangular bandages
Five Each of:
- Antibiotic ointment packets (or one large tube)
- Antiseptic wipe packets (or one container of hand sanitizer)
- Sterile gauze pads 3×3
- Sterile gauze pads 4×4
Your first aid kit may be larger or smaller, depending on the size of your family. While not officially recommended by the Red Cross, having an extra supply of any prescription medications that a member of your family is regularly on is an excellent idea. If anyone in your family has asthma, an extra inhaler is a good thing to include in your kit.
When constructing your kit, don’t forget any furry family members! The basics in a human kit are great to have on hand for your pets, but be sure to also include any medications that your pet is on. Throw in a roll of adhesive wrap…bandages won’t stick to your pet’s fur.
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