A well-stocked first-aid kit, kept within easy reach, is a must for every home. Having the right supplies ahead of time will help you handle an emergency at a moment's notice. Keep a first-aid kit in your home and one in each car. Also be sure to bring a first-aid kit on family vacations. You can buy a first aid kit at drugstores or a local Red Cross office, or make one of your own. If you make one, use containers that are roomy, sturdy, easy to carry, and simple to open. Plastic tackle boxes or containers for storing art supplies are ideal because they're lightweight, have handles, and offer a lot of space and separate sections. What Should a First-Aid Kit Include? Put these in each of your first-aid kits: an up-to-date first-aid manual a list of emergency phone numbers sterile gauze pads of different sizes adhesive tape adhesive bandages (Band-Aids) in several sizes elastic bandage a splint antiseptic wipes soap antibiotic ointment antiseptic solution (like hydrogen peroxide) hydrocortisone cream (1%) acetaminophen and ibuprofen extra prescription medicines (if the family is going on vacation) tweezers sharp scissors safety pins disposable instant cold packs calamine lotion alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol thermometer tooth preservation kit plastic non-latex gloves (at least 2 pairs) flashlight and extra batteries a blanket mouthpiece for giving CPR (you can get one from your local Red Cross) Also keep a blanket stored with your kit. After you've stocked your first-aid kits: Read the first-aid manual so you'll understand how to use what's in your kits. (If your kids are old enough to understand, review the main points with them.) Read the manual from time to time and check to see if it is up to date. Store first-aid kits out of children's reach but where adults can easily get them. Check the kits regularly. Replace missing items or anything that has expired. Make sure babysitters and other caregivers know where the kit is and how to use it. Check the flashlight batteries to make sure they work. If you're flying, pack the first-aid kit in your checked luggage. Many of the items won't be permitted in carry-on bags. Back to Articles Related Articles Teaching Your Child How to Use 911 Teaching your child how to use 911 in an emergency could be one of the simplest - and most important - lessons you'll ever share. Read More How to Use 911 You can be a big help when someone is hurt or in danger. How? By dialing 911. Find out more in this article for kids. Read More Knowing Your Child's Medical History In an emergency, health care professionals will have many questions about a patient's medical history. It's easy to compile this information now, and it could save critical minutes later. Read More How to Handle an Emergency In a medical emergency, kids can be heroes just by calling for help. Find out more in this article for kids. Read More Sports and Exercise Safety Playing hard doesn't have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how. Read More About First Aid Guides Whether it's a medical emergency or minor injury, we've got the first-aid info you need. Read More What You Need to Know in an Emergency In an emergency, it's hard to think clearly about your kids' health information. Here's what important medical information you should have handy, just in case. Read More Medicines: Using Them Safely Giving kids medicine safely can be complicated. Here's how you can help treat your child's illness while you prevent dangerous reactions. Read More CPR: A Real Lifesaver CPR saves lives. Find out how it works. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.