First Aid Kit Buyer’s Guide


First aid kits come in different shapes, sizes, and prices. They are available as pre-packaged kits designed for specific purposes, such as for the home, pets, auto, camping, boating, golfing, welding, landscaping, trucking, logging, burn care, bloodborne pathogen, emergency response, industrial, commercial and etc.

You can also elect to make your own, although this may work out to be more expensive and time-consuming as each item is purchased individually.

The important part of any first aid kit is that it suits you and your lifestyle or workplace.

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First Aid Kit Contents

Before deciding the contents of your first aid kit, list out all activities you commonly participate in. Do you go camping? Do you or any member of your family play contact sports?

Are you on the road a lot? Is it for industrial use? How many people is the first aid kit for? It is very important that the first aid kit contents match up to your lifestyle or your workplace environment.

Once you have a basic idea of where a first aid kit will come in handy, you can start planning the contents of your kit.

Many first aid kits attempt to sell a kit comprised of a box of adhesive bandages and a few tablets. How many different types of injuries will this kit treat? Not very many!

Don’t be fooled by the number of components, look for a variety of components! The idea is to include components for real-life emergencies, not what might let the kit sell for a few dollars less.

Any first aid kit should contain at least something from the following groups:
Antiseptics (something to kill germs to prevent infection), Injury treatment (items to deal with injuries such as butterfly closures and cold compresses), Bandages (a variety of bandages to dress and cover a variety of wounds), Instruments (tweezers, barrier gloves), and Medicines.

For example, basic first aid kits, or starter kits, should consist of the following items:

  • A first aid manual
  •  Tweezers
  • Sharp scissors
  • Splinter Remover
  • Thermometer
  • Safety Pins
  • Elastic Gauze (conforming bandages)
  • Sterile Gauze
  • Adhesive bandages in assorted shapes and sizes
  • Triangular bandage
  • First aid tape
  • Antiseptic Ointment
  • Calamine Lotion
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Alcohol Wipes
  • Cotton tipped applicators
  • Aspirin and Ibuprofen Tablets
  • Vinyl or latex gloves
  • Resuscitation Face Shield
  • Anti-Inflammatory Cream
  • Sodium Chloride Solution
  • Sterile eye pad
  • Your prescription medications

What you keep the contents in is up to you. Nowadays, first aid kits come in plastic cases, metal cases, or durable soft-pack. The type you choose is dependent on the purpose of the kit and where it will be stored.

First Aid Kit Supplies and RefillsTop view first aid bag kid with medical supplies on wood background-first aid kit

Finding supplies and restocking your first aid kit is not always easy. Drug stores often carry a limited number of lines, and the prices on individual items are rather expensive.

First aid kit supplies can be found online, however, and the range is enormous. You can build your kit to your heart’s content, and there are plenty more items to choose from, usually at better pricing.

Buying first aid supplies online is especially useful for restocking industrial first aid kits. When you need to order in quantity, yet varying amounts of each item, online shopping is great. You can order select specific quantities of each product, and have them delivered right to the site.

For the home user, a drug store is probably best for topping up small easy to find items. If you do need to order harder to find products or buy a few items at a time, online shopping may be an option

Where to Buy First Aid Kits OnlineFirst Aid Kit Health Concept-First Aid Kit

Online shopping has progressed a long way in recent years, especially with items that are normally difficult to find or are overpriced in the stores.

First aid kits are one of the items that the internet has done wonders for. There is a huge selection of first aid kits online, ranging from the most comprehensive industrial and emergency first response kits to the lighter than light kids travel kits.

This kind of range would never be available to the public so readily if it weren’t for online shopping. Not only is there a huge range, but it’s usually at prices below retail, and delivered directly to your door.

Rather than putting off the notion of buying a first aid kit, you now have little to no excuse, as they are only a few clicks away.

If you are ready to buy first aid kits online, Yahoo! maintains a directory of online stores offering first aid products, as does DMOZ. You can also try Googling or an online store like If you are still a little skeptical of online shopping, try a local drug store, or perhaps a local red cross chapter.

Learn First AidStudents practicing CPR life saving techniques on a mannequin-first aid kits

The other essential ingredient that should accompany all first aid kits is people who know how to use it. At a bare minimum, you should be familiar with basic first aid techniques.

Accidents, disasters, and emergencies can happen anywhere; at work, home, or play. You may be the person thrust into the firing line when something happens, and you should be prepared.

There may be a lengthy delay before medical response due to location, adverse conditions, or lack of communications. At a time like this it is up to you to commence first aid or CPR, and your knowledge, or lack thereof, may affect the outcome.

A first aid manual is also a handy addition and can fill in the blanks for those more obscure times.

If you have children, it is your role to protect them and aid them when needed. Techniques used on kids are different from those of adults, and you should take the time to learn more about this type of first aid.

Where to Learn First Aid?American Red Cross exterior sign and logo-first aid kits

The American Red Cross runs first aid, CPR, and external defibrillator courses designed for the home, workplace, and professional rescuers. Courses are offered throughout the country, and internationally through local red cross chapters.

There are also a great number of First Aid Manuals. Having a first aid manual on hand can be just as important as first aid supplies.

It is difficult for us to remember what to do in each and every emergency situation, and unless you are using your first aid skills day in, day out, it’s easy to forget everything you have learned.

Many first aid kits come stocked with first aid manuals. If you haven’t yet bought a kit, try to find one that also includes a guide.

If you already have a kit, there are a number of options available. Next time you stock up on first aid supplies add a first aid manual to your shopping list. offers a huge range of first aid manuals (and first aid kits), so next time you’re picking up a few books, CDs, DVDs, or anything else from Amazon, place a first aid manual in your shopping basket as well


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