In the event of a serious injury or accident, having a first aid kit on hand allows you to provide basic care while waiting for emergency personnel. Should an injury or benign incident occur at home, having a first aid kit that is readily accessible will allow you to provide the required care.
If travelling or camping, you should have a comprehensive and well-stocked first aid kit. In addition to the basics, you will also need medications and items usually found in your medicine cabinet. You must also take into consideration the number of people, type of activities, season, health conditions and age of those who will be with you.
Storing items in a small bag or case will make it easier to grab and carry to the scene of an accident or incident. Be sure that everyone in your family knows the basics of first aid.
|Acetaminophen or ibuprofen||:||to relieve fever or pain|
|Assorted adhesive bandages (e.g., Band-Aid™)||:||to protect cuts, scrapes|
|Injectable epinephrine (if needed) (e.g., Epi-Pen™, Twinject™)||:||to prevent severe allergic reactions|
|Alcohol swabs or solution||:||to disinfect instruments|
|Aluminum acetate (e.g., Burosol™)||:||to relieve skin irritation|
|Antihistamines||:||to treat allergies, hives|
|Gauze bandage roll|
|Decongestants||:||to relieve nasal congestion, cold symptoms|
|Elastic bandage||:||to support an injury/sprain|
|First aid manual (e.g., St John Ambulance First Aid Manual)|
|Instant Cold Pack||:||to treat inflammation caused by muscle or joint injury|
|Instant Hot Pack or heating pad (e.g., Magicbag™)||:||to relieve muscle pain or other|
|Latex or nitrile gloves|
|Moisturizer||:||to hydrate dry, sunburned skin|
|Oral rehydration solution or powder||:||to compensate for diarrhea-induced dehydration|
|Sterile non adherent Gauze Pads||:||to cover burns, cuts, or scrapes|
|Steri-Strips™ (for wound closure)|
|Topical Cortisone cream (e.g., Cortate™)||:||to relieve itching, urticaria or eczema|
|Triangular Bandage (Cotton)||:||to use as a sling|
When camping or traveling (IN ADDITION TO the basics):
|Antacid||:||to relieve heartburn|
|Antidiarrhea medication||:||to treat diarrhea|
|Antimalaria drugs (if necessary)||:||to prevent malaria|
|Antinausea medication (e.g., Gravol™)||:||to relieve nausea|
|Antiseptic towelettes (ex: Benzalkonium or chlorhexidine) or 0.9% saline solution||:||to clean wounds if clean water is unavailable|
|Hand sanitizer (e.g., Purell™)||:||to clean hands|
|Mild laxative||:||to relieve constipation|
|Mosquito netting (if necessary)||:||to prevent mosquito bites|
|Zinc ointment||:||to relieve itching and sunburn|
|2% iodine solution (if necessary)||:||to disinfect water|
|If bringing syringes and sterile injection material, include a justification letter (when traveling to a developing country)|
Important Phone Numbers
Poison Control Centre: (800) 463-5060
Once you have put your first aid kit together, all you have to do is keep it up to date. Check expiry dates periodically and replace products as soon as they are used or expired.
Most of the products listed here can be purchased at your local pharmacy. Talk to your pharmacist who will help you find everything you need.