What’s Inside a First Aid Kit?

Posted on May 5, 2011


If there is ever an emergency, the first thing you should do is call 9-1-1. However, having a first aid kit handy in the house is an easy way to help reduce the risk of injury and illnesses. There are many pre-made first aid kits readily available for purchase in stores; but you can also prepare one yourself at home tailored to your family’s needs. You should always keep a first aid kit in the home and one in the car. The important thing is to make sure your first aid kit is always properly stocked.

Here is a list of items as recommended by the American College of Emergency Physicians and Mayo Clinic:


  • First Aid booklet

  • Emergency Phone Numbers: this includes 9-1-1, the family physician or pediatrician, poison control center, and emergency family contacts

  • Medical History Forms: Each family member should have a form stating a list of allergies and a list of medications

Over-the-counter Medications

  • Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen and Aspirin

  • Cough and Cold Medications.

  • Allergy Medicine (over-the-counter oral antihistamine)

  • Hydrocortisone Cream.

  • Aloe Vera gel

  • Calamine lotion

  • Anti-diarrhea medication

  • Personal medications that don’t need refrigeration

  • Syringe, medicine cup or spoon

Bandages and Other Injury/Wound Care Supplies

  • Adhesive tape

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Antiseptic solution or towelettes

  • Bandages, including a roll of elastic wrap and bandage strips in assorted sizes

  • Instant cold packs

  • Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs

  • Disposable latex or synthetic gloves, at least two pairs

  • Gauze pads and roller gauze in assorted sizes

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Petroleum jelly

  • Scissors, tweezers and a needle

  • Soap or instant hand sanitizer

  • Sterile eyewash, such as a saline solution

  • Thermometer

  • Triangular bandage

Make sure to check your kits regularly, once every three months. Make sure to throw out and replace any expired products. If you need any more resources, call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050.