There aren’t many homes without a first-aid kit these days. The chances for injuries are as they have always been, but with the introduction of the internet, getting your hands on a suitable first-aid kit is much easier.
There are a ton of choices when it comes to buying a first-aid kit online, and many of them do a great job of including everything you could possibly need. The downside is that while they do contain everything one might need; many don’t contain absolutely everything.
There may be a few items here or there that you may find missing when you need them the most.
That’s why I thought I’d put together a complete list of things I think you should include in any first-aid kit. Feel free to send me any items you might think need inclusion, should I have missed anything.
There are quite a few items you might already have in your kit, but I’m almost positive there’ll be a couple you won’t have.
18 Items you need in your First-Aid Kit
Item #1: Adhesive Bandages
These guys are the obvious choice for small cuts and abrasions. Nearly every household in America will have a box or 2 in their medicine cabinets and for very good reason. They come in handy for any number of situations.
Item #2: Larger Bandages
Injuries won’t limit to just small cuts and scrapes. Prepare to also attend to more serious injuries by keeping a bunch of larger bandages on hand. If a disaster ever strikes, you’ll be thankful you also included more substantial options in your kit.
Item #3: Medical Tape
While on the subject of larger bandages, many don’t have adhesive strips, which makes them painful to fix in place. Having a couple of rolls of medical tape on hand will ensure you’re never caught short.
Item #4: Adhesive Sutures
There’s no getting around the fact that deeper cuts need stitches. Unless you happen to be a trained medical professional, chances are that you won’t know how to stitch a cut. Adhesive sutures come in very handy in that situation.
Item #5: Glucosameter
Whilst already used by Diabetics the world over, they also come in handy for checking weak or unconscious people. Low blood sugar is a common cause of dizziness, mental clarity, weakness, and unconsciousness.
Item #6: Ear Thermometer
Not as basic as the old under-the-tongue model, but ear thermometers measure temperature more accurately and also faster. Temperature is a good indication of sickness, fever, or infection.
Item #7: Elastic Bandage
These come in several sizes and I suggest having several of each. They come in handier than just supporting strained joints. They also work great at supporting splints for broken bones.
Item #8: Eye Cup and Saline
A simple eye cup filled with a saline solution is still the best way to get dust and chemicals from the eye. Have a couple of these handy. The eye you save may be your own.
Item #9: Instant Cold Pack
These are great when no proper ice is available. During and after an emergency, especially when trying to gain some distance away from the threat, the likelihood of twisted ankles, sprained knees, and injured limbs is quite high. These work fast at reducing the swelling and the pain that often accompanies them.
Item #10: Pain Reliever
These should always be included in any first-aid kit. While some work on reducing swelling, others don’t, so be sure to include a number of varieties. Several boxes should be included to maintain a decent supply.
Item #11: Rubber Gloves
These are an important inclusion to prevent the spreading of blood-borne viruses and disease. It’s simple to catch something when exposed to a person’s blood so be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.
Item #12: IPECAC Syrup
You’ll never know when someone accidentally swallows poison. It could be something as simple as mistakenly eating a Deathcap mushroom. IPECAC syrup induces vomiting for this exact reason; to rid the body of the poison via vomiting.
Item #13: Tweezers and Magnifying Glass
While having other uses, they come in mighty handy to remove any nasty splinters.
Item #14: Aluminum Splint
Broken bones happen and for them, you’ll need a splint. Aluminum is lightweight yet extremely strong.
Item #15: Blood-Pressure Cuff
As well as temperature, blood pressure is one of the key indicators for a patient. The medical staff needs this information and having a cuff will be most beneficial.
Item #16: CPR Mask
Used to prevent spreading infections such as viruses while saving a patient’s life. This mask prevents direct contact with a person’s bodily fluids.
Item #17: Antiseptic
Without this, covering any wound won’t matter much if germs remain in the wound. Antiseptic kills bacteria and thus increases the likelihood of wound healing.
Item #18: Blood Clotting Agent
Various blood clotting agents exist, some over the counter. They reduce the chances of someone bleeding to death and should be part of your first-aid kit.