I think we can all agree that knowing what to do in an emergency is not enough. You’ve got to have the supplies ready too. And, if you’re anything like me, then you find ready-made first aid kits frustrating. Every time I purchase a first aid kit from the store, they only have about half of what I actually need, and tons of stuff I will never use. My family, for example, does not like iodine wipes. Any kits that include that are wasted. So, we’re going to talk about how to make your own first aid kit.
Rather than spend tons of money on a premade kit that you will only use half the items from, you can instead create a customized kit based on the needs of your family. A family-based kit will include items that are unique to your family, such as an epi pen for allergies, or a stash of necessary medications.
What to Put in Your First Aid Kit
The Red Cross recommends the following items in your first aid kit:
- Compression bandages
- Band aids
- ACE-style wrap bandages
- Adhesive tape
- Individual packets of pain reliever
- Space blanket
- Breathing barrier (for CPR)
- Antibacterial ointment
- Latex gloves
- Gauze pads
Some of these items I’ve never used in my life. Some of them would be handy in certain kinds of emergencies.
Obviously, to protect your family fully, especially during a bug out situation, a generic kit is not good enough. Use the following guidelines to create your personalized kit at home
- Basic Care Items: In this section, add all the basic care items that your family uses, such as band aids and antibacterial wipes. Scissors, tweezers, and surgical tape are also useful.
- Medicine: Add a few doses of each medicine type that your family takes regularly. Make sure to clearly label the containers with dosing information and the name of the medicine, as well as who the medicine is for. If you use epi pens or other allergy shots, place one or two of those in the kit as well. You may want to put in care items for non-emergency situations, such as Pepto-Bismol or poison ivy cream.
- Basic Emergency Items: You may want to throw in a few items for basic emergency care. This could include, items for burns, wraps for sprains, slings for broken bones, CPR masks, compression wraps, or anything else you think you might need. Think about the kinds of accidents your family always gets into. My family growing up always had head injuries. We kept a supply of gauze pads and butterfly bandages to hold the cuts together until we reached the hospital.
Your Family’s Customized First Aid Kit
Place your customized kit in a clearly-labeled container. A container with an emergency symbol is best. You can draw it on the container or purchase a container specifically designed as a first aid kit. Place the kit in an area that is easily accessible, but in an area where children can not reach it. Many of the items in a first aid kit are dangerous for young children.
Additional Ways to Prepare for Emergencies
- How to Make Your Own Cold and Heat Packs
- 6 Ways to Get Ready for an Emergency When You Have a Medical Condition
- When You’re Lost: Safest Ways to Get Water