Your Home First Aid Kit

The American College of Emergency Physicians has compiled a list of items it believes should be in every first aid kit. This kit should be kept together in one place, and every member of the household should know where it is, as well as how to use each item in the kit.

This list will provide you with the necessary "tools" to handle many medical emergencies at home. All items are readily available from your local pharmacy. For the kit itself, a small tote bag is recommended because it is large enough to hold all items listed, it is easily transported (even on vacation), and it is big enough to be visible wherever it is kept.

Remember to follow the same precautions with your first aid kit as you would with any medicine. Store out of the reach of children and only use products with child safety caps.

The contents:

  • Acetaminophen and aspirin tablets: For headaches, pain, fever, and simple sprains or strains of the body. (Aspirin should not be used for relief of flu symptoms.)
  • Ipecac syrup and activated charcoal: For treatment after ingestion of certain poisons. (Use only on the advice of poison control center.)
  • Elastic wraps: For wrapping wrist, ankle, knee and elbow injuries.
  • Triangular bandage: For wrapping injuries and making an arm sling.
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive tape
  • Disposable, instant-activating ice bags: For icing injuries and treating high fevers.
  • Bandages of assorted sizes: For covering minor cuts and scrapes.
  • Antibiotic ointment: For burns, cuts, and scrapes.
  • Gauze pads, both 2 and 4 inch: For dressing wounds.
  • Steri-strips, 1/4 and 1 inch: For taping cut edges together.
  • First aid manual.
  • List of emergency phone numbers.
 

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