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The Emergency First Aid Kit Essentials You Need

A well-stocked first-aid kit can help you take effective action in an emergency situation. Here are the specific items that you should stock in first-aid kits for your home, your car and the great outdoors.

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What is in a first aid kit - mother treating injured daughter with antiseptic at homePhoto: Shutterstock

First aid kit for the home

Keep a watertight box containing:

  • Alcohol-free antiseptic wipes
  • Alcohol gel
  • Latex-free disposable gloves
  • Adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Sterile dressings in assorted sizes
  • Sterile eye pad
  • Triangular bandages
  • Safety pins in assorted sizes
  • Crepe roller bandages of different widths
  • Elastic bandage
  • Combined sterile dressing and bandage
  • Adhesive tape
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Digital thermometer
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Man with first aid kit in carPhoto: Shutterstock

First aid kit for the car

It is possible to purchase a first aid kit that is designed to be kept in a car. A kit from the Red Cross contains:

  • Adhesive bandages
  • Triangular bandages
  • Dressing pads
  • Gauze swabs
  • Sterile dressings
  • Adhesive tape
  • Disposable gloves
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Safety pins
  • Disposable face shield
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Mylar blanket
  • Note pad and pencil
  • Flashlight
  • Clinical waste bag

Don’t miss our ultimate roadside emergency guide.

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Woman on a mountain using first aid kitPhoto: Shutterstock

First aid kit for outdoor activities

When camping or hiking, consider purchasing a pouch travel kit that can easily be carried. The Red Cross travel kit contains:

  • Adhesive bandages
  • Bandages
  • Dressings
  • Disposable gloves
  • Sterile dressings
  • Wipes
  • Safety pins

Here are hiking tips for beginners from an emergency rescue responder.

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Medical first aid kit with medicine and pills for pain and illnessPhoto: Shutterstock

Useful medication for first aid kits

Go beyond the basics by adding these medications to your kit.

  • Ibuprofen
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Rehydration salts
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Antihistamine tablets or syrup
  • Insect repellent
  • Antihistamine cream

Next, test your knowledge of these first aid terms.