You can never be too prepared when it comes to first aid, but there are 14 items that are must have items in your first aid kit. These 14 key items are necessary for you to be able to provide first aid care for minor and serious first aid emergencies. These are:
- 4×4 Gauze Pads. Use for minor to moderate wounds or bleeding. Watch my video on how to stop and control bleeding here.
- 5×9 Trauma Dressing. Use for severe bleeding or large wounds.
- Thermal Blankets. Use for victims who are in shock to keep them warm (unconscious or unresponsive). Watch my video on how to treat shock here.
- 2×6 Burn Gel Dressing. In a case of burns, apply this Gel Dressing to the burned area. Watch my video on how to treat burns here.
- Cold Packs. Use for treating bumps, bruises, muscle aches and swelling. Place gauze over skin prior to applying cold pack.
- Triangular Bandage. This is a versatile dressing. It can be used to support an injured limb or extremity, secure a splint, as a pressure dressing to control bleeding, or to secure an arm that has a splint on it.
- Antiseptic Wipes. These wipes are alcohol-free, so it’s safe for cleaning out small injuries such as scrapes, cuts and abrasions and even minor burns before sticking on a bandage. Watch my video on how to clean wounds here.
- Cardboard Splint. Used to stabilize fractured limbs to prevent further damage or complications.
- Gauze Rolls. Use to secure dressings on wounds, burns or a fracture.
- First Aid Tape. For securing first aid dressing, bandage, and splint. Find the ones that are waterproof and easy to tear off.
- Band-Aids. Used for minor wounds.
- Paramedic Scissors. Use to cut gauze. Remove clothing, or cutting your own dressings.
- Antimicrobial Wipes. For the rescuer’s safety when they become exposed to body fluids, these wipes contain alcohol, so they should NEVER be used on wounds. Read my post why you shouldn’t use alcohol on wounds.
- Vinyl Gloves. For the rescuer’s safety, to protect you from body fluids.
If you’re wondering how much of each of these items you should get for your family first aid kit, then check out my calculator below.
I’ve created a Family Disaster Preparedness Calculator, just enter the number of people in your family and it will generate a report with right quantities of the items you need. I’ve also included a quick guide and videos on how to use them.
Here’s a nice infographic that CDC made.