We’re not proud to admit that we don’t exactly live our lives by the Boy Scout code of ethics at all times here at SheKnows. (Have you checked out our Love & Sex section? Yowser!) But we do agree with their motto of “Be prepared.” One of the most important ways we’ve found to be prepared is to have a well-stocked first aid kit.
Even when you’re dealing with just a minor scratch, it’s so helpful to have all of your supplies in one handy place. And when things get a little more serious, having a kit at the ready can mitigate a stressful situation until professional help arrives.
Whether you go out and purchase a pre-made first aid kit or curate the supplies yourself, your first aid kit should have these basic items:
Adhesive bandages (various sizes)
These are good for the boo-boos and bumps that might come your way. Do your future self a favor and organize these by size. Feeling around a Ziploc filled with a bunch of Band Aids for several minutes is the last thing you want to be doing when you have a scraped knee to deal with.
Ooze a bit of this onto a scrape or cut before you apply a bandage.
This is helpful to clean out a cut or sterilize any tools you may be using, including your hands. If you have children, you may want to look for an ouch-free antiseptic. Cleaning the cut shouldn’t hurt more than falling off the bike.
Keep a few tablets of aspirin in your first aid kit.
You can keep a normal blanket in your kit or if you’re taking the plunge and buying new materials, look for a space blanket. These futuristic blankets will keep you warm and take up far less space than a traditional blanket.
Gloves are essential when you’re dealing with body fluids. Be sure to include only non-latex gloves. Some folks have very severe latex allergies and might not be in the right frame of mind to explain this to you.
Bandages (3 or 4 inches wide)
Bandages can be used to support a weakened muscle or apply constant pressure to a small area. Because they’re not easy to use at first, you may want to practice on your healthy ankle or wrist a few times before slipping your first aid kit away.
These can be used under adhesive or standard bandages for cuts and abrasions that are on the more severe side.
Keep these in your kit for cutting bandages or gauze or, if the situation demands, cutting off the clothing of the hurt individual to better access their injury.
CPR face shield
This shield protects both people involved in CPR from the risk of germs during CPR administration.
Another important first aid tip is to keep instructions for any item in the kit with that item. Wasting time digging around for dosage or application instructions is not how you should be spending precious moments during an emergency. Also remember to check in on your first aid kit every few months. Make sure none of the products have expired or been affected by outside elements.