Most injuries and illnesses are not life threatening. However, knowing how to treat minor injuries and illnesses can prevent them from becoming worse. Additionally, the ability to treat or stabilize more serious emergencies until medical help arrives may save a life.

A well-stocked first aid kit for the home can prepare you for most unexpected situations. First aid kits can be purchased already stocked, or you can make your own. While supplies may differ from kit to kit, basic supplies that should be included in an emergency kit for the home include:

  • non-latex gloves (at least two to three pairs)
  • CPR one-way valve face shield
  • antiseptic cleansing towelettes
  • antibiotic ointment
  • sterile dressings (4x4 gauze pads, roll gauze, and absorbent 5x9 compress dressings)
  • adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • elastic bandage
  • medical tape
  • scissors
  • tweezers
  • triangular bandage with safety pins
  • eye wash solution
  • eye shield
  • oral thermometer (non-glass)
  • alcohol swabs to clean thermometer, tweezers, scissors
  • non-prescription medications that the family may use, such as non-aspirin pain reliever and anti-diarrhea medication
  • instant cold compress
  • first aid instruction chart or book

Keep all the items together in a hard case or waterproof pack. Remember to check your first aid kit regularly to re-stock items that have been used and to remove and replace out-of-date supplies.