How to Stock Your Family First Aid Kit

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Baby Essentials, Resources

Don't skimp on the bandages. Credit: Corbis

When cuts and bruises call for more than a kiss, parents need to be prepared. That's why safety experts recommend parents keep first aid kits at home, in the car and in the diaper bag.

"This is not being overcautious," James Judge, advisory council member for American Red Cross tells ParentDish. "This absolutely is smart parenting."

Having a first aid kit on hand gives parents more confidence and fewer reasons to panic when children get hurt, Judge says.

ParentDish asked Judge and Jennifer Huebner, AAA's manager of traffic safety programs, for their recommendations of what should be included in a first aid kit.

After purchasing or assembling a kit, families also should take their own special needs and medical conditions into consideration, both experts say. If a family member has a severe food or bee allergy, the kit should include an EpiPen. Families with small kids should consider adding children's pain reliever to the kit. It's also useful to include a hand sanitizer and it's important to regularly restock the kit after items have been used.

A first aid kit for a family of four should include:
  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 by 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards by 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 blanket
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pairs of nonlatex gloves (size large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
  • Scissors
  • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 by 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 by 4 inches)
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet
  • Any medicines or equipment related to a family's particular medical condition
Diaper bag first aid kit should include:

  • Tweezers
  • Various-sized bandages
  • Small scissors
  • Children's pain reliever
  • Bulb aspirator
  • Extra wipes
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Instant cold compress

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.