Anatomy of a First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit is a handy thing to have. To be prepared for emergencies, keep a first aid kit in your home and another in your car. Carry a first aid kit with you or know where you can find one while you are hiking, biking, camping or boating. Learn the location of first aid kits where you work.

Whether you buy a first aid kit at a drug store or put one together yourself, make sure it has all the items you may need, such as medications and emergency phone numbers, advises the American Red Cross. Check the kit regularly. Make sure the flashlight batteries work. Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents. Store your first aid kit in a secure place out of the reach of young children.

Here are items you should have in a first aid kit:

  • Activated charcoal (use only if instructed by Poison Control Center)

  • Adhesive tape

  • Antiseptic ointment

  • Bandages

  • Blanket

  • Cold pack

  • Disposable gloves

  • Gauze pads and roller gauze

  • Hand cleanser

  • Plastic bags

  • Scissors and tweezers

  • Hand-powered diode flashlight, which needs no batteries


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