How to Assemble a Home-made First Aid Kit

Things You Will Need

First aid items.

Appropriate container.

Place to store the kit.

Step 1

Where to store a first aid kit.

OK first things first. Think about where the best place would be to store a first aid kit. It should be easily accessible but out of reach of small children and pets. The temperature should be fairly consistent, neither too hot or too cold, too dry or too wet.

Step 2

The container

It is possible to buy empty first aid tins or boxes which are purpose made and ready for you to fill up. However, there may be many unused items such as old biscuits tins or plastic tool boxes around your home, that may be suitable. Ensure that the container has a lid that fits, is clean and rust free, is a suitable size and is made from a good material.

Step 3

The contents.

Personalise the contents to suit your family or household. Obviously, if you have small children you will want to include children’s painkillers and the like. Even if you have no children you may want to include some children’s products in case visiting family member’s, for example, have an accident.

Obviously the amount of products in the kit, will depend upon the number of people you are hoping to provide for.

Here are a few basics, that the Red Cross recommend a good, home first aid kit ought to include:-

  • 2 Absorbent compress dressings roughly 5 x 9 inches
  • 25 Adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • 1 Adhesive cloth tape roughly 10 yards x 1 inch
  • 5 Antibiotic ointment packets, approximately 1 gram
  • 5 Antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 Packets of aspirin 81 mg each
  • 1 Blanket (space blanket)
  • 1 Breathing barrier, with one-way valve
  • 1 Instant cold compress
  • 2 Pair of nonlatex gloves, probably in a large size
  • 2 Hydrocortisone ointment packets, approximately 1 gram each
  • Scissors
  • 1 Roller bandage, 3 inches wide
  • 1 Roller bandage, 4 inches wide
  • 5 Sterile gauze pads, 3 x 3 inches
  • 5 sterile gauze pads, 4 x 4 inches
  • Oral thermometer, non-mercury/nonglass
  • 2Ttriangular bandages
  • A pair of tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet

    The above is for a family of four people.

    Here are some further ideas for a useful first aid kit:-

  • First-aid manual
  • Sterile gauze
  • Adhesive tape
  • Adhesive bandages in several sizes
  • Elastic bandage
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Soap
  • Antibiotic cream (triple-antibiotic ointment)
  • Antiseptic solution (like hydrogen peroxide)
  • Hydrocortisone cream (1%)
  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • Extra prescription medications
  • A pair of tweezers
  • Sharp scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Disposable instant cold packs
  • Calamine lotion
  • Alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol
  • Thermometer
  • Plastic gloves
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Mouthpiece for administering CPR
  • A list of emergency phone numbers
  • Blanket, stored nearby

    Try to include the basics but personalise as and when necessary.

  • Step 4

    Additional information.

    You will need to make sure that all items have a long expiry date.

    Make sure that the first aid kit is well signed, so that everyone knows where it is stored.

    Perhaps it would be wise to include a list of the expiry dates, of each product, and attach this to the inside of the lid. Set yourself a date and time to check the kit. Once a month should be fine. You can then discard expired items and replace immediately.

    Having a list of items included in the kit will mean that you can easily tell is something is missing.

    Storing other emergency items close to your first aid kit can be useful. These could be spare lightbulbs, fuses, batteries, torches, fire blankets and candles. If you have a sudden power cut all of these could help you to keep to safe.

    A kitchen cupboard could be a good place to store the items. Make sure that it is well away from any heat source. Accidents in the home sometimes involve the cooker or other kitchen appliances. This may mean that it is wise to store the kit well away from these kitchen appliances. However, this fact also means that the kitchen could be a useful place to store your first aid kit.

    Think about your family or household and potential emergencies and accidents. Research the best supplies to carry.

    If you live in an area which is notorious, for example, for suffering hurricanes, adjust the kit’s contents as appropriate.

    Make sure that you have read any first aid manuals and know what they mean.

    It may be that a first aid kit for the home will be slightly different to one for your car.

    Above all be prepared. A few basic first aid supplies can be the difference between staying in control in an emergency or losing the battle.

    Tips & Warnings

    The container must be tough as well as easy to open.

    It must be stored within easy reach and in a place known to all.

    The dates and stock need checking regularly.

    Usued items must be replaced immediately.