How do you create a first aid kit? Our guide outlines what you should have in a first aid kit, and how to maintain it properly for your household.
In every household there are a few things that you should always have close at hand. This also includes the medicine cabinet or first aid kit. We explain to you what should not be missing when you create a first aid kit.
Stomach problems, diarrhea, headaches and the like often occur very suddenly. Then quick help is needed, because who has had to deal with it for a long time? So the first step is to the first aid kit or medicine cabinet. They usually contain the right medication to respond quickly to the problem. But what exactly does everything go in there in order to be able to react quickly and correctly not only to headaches but also to minor injuries?
As a rule, the contents of every first aid kit can vary from household to household. Their content is also related to the number of family members, as well as their age and health status. In addition to the regular medication, it is also useful to have bandages and aids available for emergencies. You are always well equipped if you adhere to the following points.
Standard list of medicines to create a first aid kit
All medicines in the following list belong in every medicine cabinet:
- Painkillers and fever killers (for example: ibuprofen or paracetamol)
- Medicines used to treat the symptoms of a cold (for example, nasal decongestant spray)
- Medicines for digestive problems, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea and gas
- Product for spraying on against insect bites (especially mosquito bites and bee or wasp stings ) or sunburn
- Anti-itching agents (antihistamine)
- Ointment or gel for use in case of strains, bruises or sprains
- Solution to gargle for problems in the mouth and throat area
- Wound and burn gel
- Disinfectants for wound care
- Electrolytes to compensate for fluid loss
- Personal medication (for long-term treatment of chronic diseases)
You should make sure that the respective drug is tailored to the family members. For example, children sometimes need a different dosage form or dosage than adults. It is therefore helpful to ask your pediatrician which products you should always have at home especially for your children. Because not every child can tolerate every drug.
It usually helps to also get a first-aid kit that can be used in the car, for example. It contains a large part of the necessary components. In detail, important bandages include:
- Triangular scarf
- Elastic bandages and gauze bandages
- Bandage and pressure bandage packs
- Bandage safety pins and bandage clips
- First aid bandages
- Sterile compresses
- Bandage for wounds and burns
- Plasters in different sizes
These bandages should definitely be found in every household in order to be able to act quickly and treat the wound in the event of injuries such as abrasions or cuts. Applying a pressure bandage is extremely important, for example, in order to temporarily treat heavily bleeding wounds on the way to the doctor or hospital.
Indispensable items in the first aid kit
Finally, there is also the category of indispensable aids that should not be missing in any first aid kit or medicine cabinet. This includes:
- Disposable gloves
- Disinfectants for the skin
- Clinical thermometer
- Reusable cool packs (stored in the freezer)
- Hot water bottle
- Bandage scissors
- Tweezers for removing splinters, etc.
- cotton swab
- Tick tweezers
- List of emergency numbers
- First aid guide
Some of these aids are rarely needed, but they are essential in an emergency. Unfortunately, you often only notice that when you really need these things.
Additional, individual medication
There are usually members within the family who are taking specific medications. This is the case, for example, if someone suffers from migraines or has allergies. Chronic diseases usually also require special preparations for treatment. Hence, you should add these to your medicine cabinet.
If you have to take medication every day, it is advisable to put an emergency reserve or several in your medicine cabinet. If your medication is suddenly empty because you forgot to get a prescription from your doctor, you still have an emergency reserve at home to take care of it.
Regularly check the first aid kit
Having everything in order does not stop when you create a first aid kit. We recommend checking that the medicine cabinet is complete once a year. This is the only way to ensure that every utensil is available in an emergency or that it is refilled. In the course of this, you should also check the list with the emergency numbers, as the contacts can sometimes change.
The annual control also includes checking the shelf life of the respective medication. You should preferably bring expired medicines to the pharmacy, where they will then be disposed of properly. Otherwise, you can also dispose of them with household waste.
Important tips on storage, safety and shelf life
In order to use medication as efficiently as possible when you need it, proper storage is essential. There are many drugs that are sensitive to light or heat and thus lose their effectiveness. This is why the medicine cabinet is best located in a dry and cool place. The hallway or bedroom, for example, is well suited. The bathroom, on the other hand, is the wrong place because it is usually too warm and humid.
In addition, you should always store the medication in its original packaging so that the package insert is always to hand in an emergency. In the case of ointments or creams, it is also useful to note on the tube when you opened it, because they can usually only be used for a certain number of months. In addition, the expiration date disappears in the course of use if the tube is rolled up from below.
Important: Keep the first aid kit out of the reach of children
If children live in the household, it is essential to keep the first aid kit locked at all times. Ideally, a lock is installed to ensure the most secure storage possible. Alternatively, there is a box in which everything can be clearly arranged.
Author: Genevieve Dumas is a food, fashion, health and beauty writer from New York, who has worked for a range of major magazines.