How To Create A First Aid Kit

How To Create A First Aid Kit

Every home and vehicle should have a first aid kit for minor injuries and emergencies.

You can create a first aid kit on your own or buy one. The good thing about making your own is that you can customize it for you and your family’s needs, such as including specific medications.

Your kit can be as large or as small as you want, depending on how many people might need it. No matter what size your final kit is, just make certain it includes everything you need.

Start With A Protective Case

Most first aid kits are in plastic or metal containers to prevent the contents from being damaged easily. You might prefer using small plastic organizers like you would use with crafts and store them in a thick canvas bag. The container you choose will vary based on how many items you wish to place inside and where you’ll be storing it.

For instance, for your car, a small case that fits easily under your seat or in your glovebox works best. A few common types of cases to use include:

  • Plastic craft boxes
  • Metal tins with dividers
  • Small to medium tackle boxes
  • Backpacks (mainly for outdoor traveling)
  • Cosmetic bags/organizers

If you’re not sure what you might need, gather all your supplies first to see how much space you’ll need.

Gather The Basics First

The Red Cross and U.S. National Library of Medicine provide comprehensive lists of what an ideal first aid kit should include. Some of the common essentials include:

  • Adhesive bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Compress dressings
  • Pairs of latex gloves
  • Gauze pads
  • Bandage Roll
  • Scissors
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Tweezers

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, your first aid kit should have at least enough of each item for several uses per person. Obviously, you should include more of the most commonly used items, such as adhesive bandages for minor cuts.

Customize Your First Aid Kit

After you’ve gathered the basics, it’s time to customize it. Consider you and your family’s needs, such as prescriptions, allergies, and commonly needed medications. For instance, if you’re allergic to peanuts, you would want to include an extra epinephrine auto-injector in the kit. If you have diabetes, add a few extra testing supplies and some insulin in the kit.

No kit would be complete without common over-the-counter medications. If you have children, remember to include children’s medications as well. Some common OTC medications to include are:

  • Aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Antacid
  • Anti-diarrhea pills or liquid
  • Motion sickness pills
  • Eye drops

For your main home first aid kit, these might not be necessary. You should include them in any travel or car kits though.

Additional Items To Include

All of the above items are ideal for a basic first aid kit. You don’t have to stop with the basics though. Many people create a first aid kit to store in their basement or storm shelter in the event of bad weather. Others create a kit to have on hand if the power goes out. You can make a kit like this by including the basics along with the following items:

  • Blanket(s)
  • Flashlights and batteries or crank flashlight
  • Crank radio with phone charger
  • Matches
  • Candles

While you may never need any of these items, you’ll know they’re right at hand should an emergency occur. Store these in a larger storage box or backpack.

Other Considerations

Check and update your first aid kit on a regular basis. Medications expire, and if your kit includes batteries, they might need replacing after a set period. Any time you use your first aid kit, replace any items you’ve used as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to need something, open your kit and discover you’re out. Consider checking your kit monthly to ensure it’s always ready when you need it.


If you haven’t already, create a first aid kit for your home and car. Create an additional kit whenever you travel. While you hope nothing ever happens, it’s always better to be prepared. First aid kits are fairly inexpensive to create and could save your life in an emergency.

Want to learn more about preparing for emergency situations? Let Safety Education Alliance help you be as prepared as possible. 

*image courtesy of Marcin Wichary

Safety Education Alliance