For millions of families, summer means packing a suitcase for vacation destinations. But do you stock your first aid kit as thoroughly as your carry-on bag? Everyone should have a basic first aid kit handy in case of any emergencies, and if you don’t have one, this summer is a good time to get started. But what should you put in it? Here’s a handy checklist from the experts at the American Red Cross:
This includes extra medications, emergency contact information, and any additional “medical alert” items.
Be sure to have plenty of batteries for flashlights or emergency radios.
While many large first aid kits come with various types of bandages, the American Red Cross suggests:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- 2 triangular bandages
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets
OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS:
- 2 packets of aspirin (or other appropriate pain medication)
- A pair of non-latex medical gloves (be aware that some people may have an allergy to latex)
- A non-mercury / non-glass oral thermometer
- An emergency “space” blanket
You may need to adjust your first aid kit depending on your destination. For example, if you are heading to an area where poisonous snakes are common, bring an emergency snake bite kit.
Most importantly, don’t forget a thorough first aid instruction book to have with you at all times. If you don’t have one, you can order one directly from the Red Cross here. A well-stocked first aid kit is one item no family should be without.