As parents and caregivers, we want to be prepared for anything and everything—from a power outage to a scraped knee. This month, let’s get an emergency first aid kit together than can handle the bumps and bruises of everyday life with kids, as well as ready us for the “just in case” scenarios every parent keeps in mind.
First, choose your storage method. These kits are a great use for all the empty wipes boxes that accumulate, and those fit nicely in your car. Another great piece for storage is a tackle box. You can purchase one new at any sporting goods or all-purpose store. Or, if you’d like to be decorative as well as functional, consider a sturdy basket than can be wiped clean in case of spills.
Second, determine your needs. Scour the medicine cabinet for what you already have on hand and toss any expired products. You know your family best, so while this is a general guide, you make the choice about what actually goes in your kit considering age, allergies, and family preference.
General First Aid Needs:

  • Acetamenaphin (such as Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil)
  • Appropriate dosage spoons or droppers
  • Thermometer
  • Allergy medicine (such as Benadryl)
  • Band-aids (variety of sizes)
  • Antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin)
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Medical tape or gauze
  • Roller or compression bandage
  • Instant cold compress
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Latex gloves

Finally, assemble your kit. Once you have determined and acquired your family’s needs, pack your kit and store it somewhere safe and out of direct heat or cold. (For car kits, it is generally best to leave out medications.)
If you’d like to have an even more comprehensive collection of medical supplies on hand, consider adding the following:

  • Snot sucker (such as the NoseFrida)
  • Saline spray
  • “Boogie wipes” or tissues
  • Cold medicine (older children only)
  • Gas drops or gripe water
  • Pedialyte or other electrolyte-based drinks
  • Aquaphor or Vaseline
  • Nail clippers
  • Peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Triangular bandages
  • Butterfly closures
  • Washcloths

Many sites offer excellent tutorials and downloadable checklists for first aid kits. One of the best tips we came across suggested stocking red washcloths, so in the event of a bad cut, your child will not see the blood and become even more upset. Brilliant!
What must haves are in your family’s emergency first aid kit?