Top 5 First Aid Kit Items: the basic items you need to handle an emergency!

One of the most common questions our Instructors receive on-site is “What should be in our First Aid Kit?”  Some very creative souls challenge us to answer:  “If you could only have 5 things in your Kit, what would you have?”  So-here is our answer:

Top 5 First Aid Kit Items:

1)  Latex-free gloves

Latex-Free Gloves

Latex-free gloves create a barrier between you and the other person’s body fluids (blood, sweat, saliva etc…).  We always suggest latex-free because many people have latex allergies.  The last thing you want while dealing with a First Aid situation is an allergy piled on top of whatever else you are dealing with. 

2)  Gauze pads

Gauze Pads

Any size/number will do.  A gauze pad helps absorb blood while shielding a wound from outside dirt and debris.  Fit as many of these as possible in your First Aid kit.  If you don’t have gauze pads-use napkins or paper towels.  Sterile is Great, but Clean is Just Fine.


3)  Adhesive Bandages.

Ahesive Bandages - Various sizes

   Whatever brand/size you prefer.  We suggest a variety of sizes to cover all types of wounds.  The tiny circles to the big-uns meant to cover an entire knee-cap are great to have.

4)  A CPR Mask.

Keychain CPR Mask

  This goes back to body fluids.  Depending upon the size of your First Aid container, you may use either a ‘Pocket Mask’ (this is the big one seen on medical shows) or a ‘keychain mask’ (this is a small version that fits on your keychain or in any other small space.)

5)  Tweezers

Slant-Edge Tweezers

Tweezers are a very useful tool-and not just for catching that stray eyebrow hair.  You can remove splinters or ticks with a pair of tweezers.  Please, no pinpoint tweezers!  These will not effectively grab a tick.  Also, those big plastic tweezers included in some commercial First Aid kits have a big, blunt edge-this can make grabbing a splinter very difficult.

All of these items together will fit into a small food storage container (see picture!)  The container I used has a 1.25 cup capacity.  It is small enough to fit in your glovebox, desk drawer, purse or diaper bag.

Tiny First Aid Kit

Keep in mind-your needs may be different.  Maybe you or someone close to you is diabetic.  In that case, you may want to add some glucose tablets or gel to your kit.  Maybe someone has an Epi-Pen-if so, add it to your kit.

In another post, we will go over what to put it a larger First Aid kit and I will give you a glimpse into the SES Jump Bag–what we carry in our vehicles and what is in our homes.  Stay tuned!

Please note:  SES does not endorse any specific product or brand.  SES is not endorsed by any brand-name product.  I made every effort to conceal any product names from my photos-but, if one made it through, I apologize! 


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This is the Official Blog of Safety Education Specialists. An Authorized American Heart Association Training Site located in Virginia, USA. for all our course listings and information.
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