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First Aid Supplies

Being properly prepared with first aid supplies will make it easier and less stressful to deal with an emergency. These supplies should include medicines, bandages, and other items described below.

Also, make sure the members of your family know how to respond safely and quickly if there is an emergency. Talk to your local Red Cross or American Heart Association about getting first aid and CPR training for your family.

What medicines should I have on hand?

It is helpful to have the following medicines readily available:

  • pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen (make sure you include infant's or children's forms of these medicines if there are children in your home)
  • pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen
  • antiseptic wipes
  • antihistamine, such as Benadryl
  • calamine lotion for stings or skin irritants
  • medicine to treat diarrhea
  • antibiotic ointment or cream
  • hydrocortisone cream, ointment, or lotion
  • cough suppressant medicine
  • decongestant medicine, such as Sudafed
  • petroleum jelly.

What other items should I include in a kit or in the cabinet?

Other first aid supplies should include:

  • sterile 2-by-2 and 4-by-4-inch gauze pads, and a roll of gauze
  • various sizes of adhesive bandages
  • an elastic wrap-style bandage
  • cotton swabs
  • nonallergenic adhesive tape
  • scissors and tweezers
  • a thermometer
  • safety pins
  • a measuring spoon or syringe for children’s liquid medicines
  • electrolyte solutions like Pedialyte or Gatorade if children are in the home
  • liquid soap for cleaning wounds
  • disposable gloves
  • small flashlight and extra batteries
  • disposable instant cold packs
  • triangular bandage (sling)
  • first aid manual
  • emergency phone numbers
  • completed medical consent forms that allow children to get medical treatment when a parent is not available
  • a list of allergies and medicines for each person living in the home.

Where should I store the kit or supplies?

Store your first aid supplies in an area that is easy to get to in case of an emergency but is out of the reach of children. Try to always keep them in the same place so they are easy to find.

Check your supplies regularly. Replace any used items or items that are out of date.

For more information and training in first aid, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross or visit their Web site at

Developed by RelayHealth.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-02-11
Last reviewed: 2010-04-01
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2011 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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