Learn how to stock and store a family first aid kit so you’re prepared for any kind of accident that may happen in your home.
A first aid kit usually isn’t on the top of your mind until you need it, and recently I found myself in a bit of a first-aid predicament. I was slicing carrots on a mandoline and said to my husband “one day I’m going to cut myself with this thing.” Not even thirty seconds later, a huge chunk of my thumb went right through the blade. Luckily my in-laws were visiting for dinner, and my MIL is very skilled in aiding a cut.
She opened up my first aid kit container I had bought from Walmart years ago and pushed around it looking for something we could actually use. Sure, there were bandaids and gauze, and some random things I have idea what they even do, but I was definitely not prepared for an instance like this.
I wanted to write this post today so you can not be like me and be prepared for any kind of household injury without a panic-trip to the drug store 5 minutes before they close. Here is exactly what you need to do to stock and store a first aid kit in your home.
What To Keep On Hand In Your First Aid Kit
- Bandaids of all sizes
- Gauze and medical tape
- Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and Antihistamine in pills and liquid form
- Antiseptic cream
- Numbing cream
- Insect sting cream
- Hydrocortisone cream (for rashes and scrapes)
- Liquid Stitches
- Alcohol-free cleaning wipes
- Eye wash (not eye drops)
- Travel-sized bottle of gentle dye-free antiseptic soap
- Peroxide and alcohol
- Disposable sterile gloves
- Tweezers and scissors
- Thermometer (oral and ear/forehead versions)
- Snake bite kit (especially if you live in a wooded area)
- Cold and hot compresses
- Arm sling
- Finger brace/splint
- Rubber finger covers
- Emergency blanket
- Backup inhaler
- CPR mouthpiece
- Small handheld first aid guidebook for wound care and CPR
Where To Store Your First Aid Kit
Keep your first aid kit in a central and easily accessible location of your home. In our house, we keep everything in the hall bathroom. In the event of an accident inside our house, we wanted to make sure it could be found quickly. Like last week when I cut my finger, my MIL was able to jump into action and didn’t have to search for supplies.
I also suggest keeping one main first aid kit with everything listed above on the main level of your house, and keeping smaller condensed kits with only the basics on the other levels of your home and in each of your cars.
Not sure what to store all your supplies in? You can buy first-aid specific containers like these online and in stores, but don’t feel obligated to purchase something if it’s not in your budget. You can store all your supplies grouped by category in Ziplock bags with slider closures, with all the filled bags inside a classic plastic lidded container.
Or you can keep them all in an over-the-door divided shoe holder. That’s a great way to keep all the categories separated and also make accessing the items super easy.
First Aid Kit Maintenance Tips
It’s super important to maintain your first aid kit. Just putting one together and never thinking about it again will definitely leave you high and dry one day. Once a month, check your stock levels on often-used things like medicines and bandaids. Refill those stocks as needed, and don’t wait for them to run out before shopping for more.
You should also check the expiration dates on medicines, creams, and liquids once a month. These do expire, and once that date hits, they are likely less effective than when they were fresh.
If you notice that you have medicines or creams that are going to expire in a month or so, and you don’t use them very often, consider donating them to your local homeless shelter. They may be able to use them faster and you don’t have to feel bad about throwing them away.
One last thing, it’s a great idea to sit down with the family one evening and watch a few training videos on the University of YouTube on how to handle certain first aid issues. I suggest pulling up videos from the Red Cross on how to do CPR, dress a wound, wrap a sprain, and apply compression before going to the emergency room.
Don’t Forget Your Pets!
Now that you’ve gotten your own first aid kit stocked and placed in a central location of your home, and you know what to do when an emergency happens, it’s time to take the next step to get your pets a first aid kit, too. Visit this post to learn how to stock a first aid kit for household pets.
More Emergency Home Resources
If you’re on an emergency preparedness role and you want to keep preparing your family for anything that may come your way, these three posts will get you even more Organized*ish than ever:
- Why You Need An Emergency Prep Box
- DIY Pet Window Decals For Emergency Responders
- How To Keep Important Home Info Safe And Organized
And if you want a full first aid kit checklist, emergency preparedness checklist, fire escape planning guide, and more emergency planning worksheets, check out the Organized*ish Family Emergency Planner Kit here.