Posted by Allison Grant, June 09, 2020 (last updated on June 04, 2020)
June is National Safety Month, and we’re also still navigating the coronavirus, which means it’s a great time to double-check that your household has a fully stocked first aid kit. While you’re at it, make sure your first aid kit is easily available and check to see that none of the medication in your kit is past its expiration date.
The reality is, almost everyone will need to use a first aid kit at some point. If you have little ones at home, this is especially true. While we’re big fans of the convenience urgent care centers provide when you need to see a doctor right away, there are a lot of injuries and illnesses that don’t require a trip to urgent care or the ER. Especially now, with the COVID-19 pandemic making something as simple as a trip to the grocery store anxiety-inducing, the last thing you want to do is even go near a hospital.
Having a well-stocked first aid kit available at home can help you treat basic injuries and illnesses, prevent infection, and, hopefully, avoid an unnecessary trip to urgent care. Since we are still mid-pandemic, stocking up on first aid supplies just in case you do contract coronavirus is a smart move. Read on to learn how to stock a first aid kit, so you can be prepared—for whatever accidents happen.
Essentials for an at-home first aid kit
There are two options here. You can either purchase an already assembled first-aid kit at pretty much any drug store, or online if leaving your house is still not on your to-do list, or you can easily make a first aid kit yourself. One benefit of a DIY first aid kit is that you can customize it to the size and health needs (or accident proneness). First things first, though. One of the most important parts of a first aid kit is the kit. As in, a one-stop-shop for all of your not-quite-emergency essentials, so you aren’t rifling through drawers and cabinets throughout the house trying to remember where you last saw that antiseptic spray.
It doesn’t matter if your first aid essentials are in a box, a bag, a plastic case, or some other container, as long as your medical supplies are organized so you can find them easily. To make sure you have everything you need, the Red Cross provides a handy checklist of what a good first aid kit should include. Note that this list is for a family of four. If you have a larger family, you can use this as a reference point to figure out how much of each supply you should have on hand. If you’re a family of fewer than four, go ahead and follow the advised amounts—it can’t hurt to have extra.
First aid kit supply checklist
- 2 absorbent compress dressings
- 25 adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- 1 adhesive cloth tape
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin
- 1 emergency blanket
- 1 breathing barrier (with a one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pairs of large non-latex gloves
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets
- 1 3 in. roll of gauze
- 1 roller bandage
- 5 3-inch x 3-inch sterile gauze pads
- 5 4-inch by 4-inch sterile gauze pads
- Oral thermometer (look for one that’s plastic, and doesn’t contain mercury)
- 2 triangular bandages
- Emergency first aid guide
If you or a family member has specific allergies and needs an EpiPen, make sure you include that on your first aid kit checklist, too. The Red Cross also recommends thinking through other personal items you may need, such as medications, the phone number of your family physician, local urgent care, or nearby family members who can help in case of a more serious injury or illness. If you are living with a chronic condition or other health concerns, check with your doctor to see if they recommend you include any additional items.
What COVID-19-specific first aid supplies do you need?
If you or a family member suspect you may have COVID-19, it’s important not to spread the virus, so, this means staying home unless otherwise instructed by a doctor. This may make it more challenging to access supplies you need as quickly. Though we hope you don’t contract the coronavirus, if you’re worried or if you or a family member are high-risk, it makes sense to prepare your first-aid kit—just in case.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that the person who has coronavirus cleans their own bathroom and living space (totally not what you’d think you should be doing when you’re sick). This can help prevent the spread of the virus to others who live in your home. To keep things sanitized, you’ll need these basic supplies:
- Thermometer (this is already included in a non-COVID first-aid kit, but it’s important to track your fever if you have coronavirus)
- Antiseptic wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- General OTC medicines
- Fever reducer and pain medications
A kid-friendly COVID first aid kit
In case your child gets sick with coronavirus, you may want to have a specific first aid kit that contains kiddo-appropriate supplies. You might consider including items like:
- Sanitizing wipes
- A child-sized face mask
- Multi-symptom cold relief
- Kid’s cough medicine
- Children’s pain reliever
- Sore throat lozenge lollipops
When your little one isn’t feeling well, they are probably not going to be their normal energetic selves. Stashing some special toys, books, or art supplies away for this worst-case scenario can bring them a smile and just a bit of relief.
If you or a household member were to become sick, the last thing you’ll want to deal with is scrambling for supplies. Stay one step ahead and you’ll be able to focus on recovering from the illness, not managing unnecessary stress.
If you do think you have coronavirus, don’t go to urgent care just yet. Instead, you can book a video visit and a doctor will let you know if you should rest at home or if coming in-person for a visit is necessary. Coronavirus aside, some cuts and bruises can be treated with an at-home first aid kit just fine, while other minor injuries and illnesses might need the attention of a doctor.
Finding an urgent care center or booking a same- or next-day virtual visit is easy with the free Solv app. Download now!