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How to Choose a Pre-Made First Aid Kit

One of the biggest benefits in having a pre-made first aid kit lies in easy access. When your kid scrapes their knee, you immediately know where to get the peroxide, antibiotic cream, and bandages.

However, choosing a first aid kit isn’t so simple. A grocery store or pharmacy will likely have several options, but the clerk probably won’t know you well enough to recommend the perfect kit for your lifestyle. Consider your unique needs in a first aid kit, and then choose from one of our top recommendations.

Choose a First Aid Kit That Fits Your Unique Needs

No matter your needs, there is a first aid kit on the market that will serve you well. If you are a parent of a newborn, for example, you require a kit fitted to a young child’s needs. It would include items to treat croup, earaches, tummy aches, and teething symptoms. If you have pets, you want to opt for an entirely different first aid kit with products to remove ticks and treat sore paws.

Hikers and campers have different medical requirements. You spend your time in rugged terrain, which increases your risk for falls and sprains. You sometimes travel in groups, too, meaning you need to purchase a larger first aid kit. If you adventure alone, a smaller, lightweight kit could serve you best.

People who regularly commute to work or take road trips might also desire to purchase a car first aid kit that contains flares, jumper cables, water, and food. If you live in areas with snowy weather, you might add a blanket and other winter safety items to your kit.

Focus On the Essentials When Building a First Aid Kit

When evaluating or making a first aid kit, focus on the essentials. Most kits contain them, but not always. Some people either opt to buy a different kit or complement their purchase with necessary items. The following list isn’t exhaustive, but it covers many of the basic products found in first aid kits.

  • Splints or Wraps
  • Gauze
  • Medical Tape
  • Bandages
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Antibiotic Cream
  • Tweezers
  • Aspirin

How to Safely Use First Aid Products

Each item in a first aid kit comes with guidelines for use. Read these to prevent allergic reactions and other maladies. Many first aid kits also come with an instruction book or recommend attending a first aid class.

Reading the book and attending the class are excellent ideas, but if you face an emergency before you do this, use the five tips below. They can help you take immediate action and keep everyone safe.

  1. Keep the kit in a central location. Keep your first aid kit in an easy-to-access and known location—for adults, not kids—within your home or vehicle.
  2. Examine the active ingredients. Some drugs react poorly with other medications or contain ingredients that could cause a rash. Make sure your products, such as aspirin, are safe for use.
  3. Look for indications of use. Every medication, ice pack, and other first aid item includes indications for use. Follow them to ensure a bandage doesn’t stick to a wound.
  4. Follow the directions. Kids under age twelve usually require smaller doses of medications. Read the directions carefully so you don’t over-medicate.
  5. Remember the expiration dates. Antibiotic cream and other first aid items come with expiration dates. Typically, they lose effectiveness after this date, so make sure you’re aware of when to replace these products.

10 Best Pre-Made First Aid Kits

The selection of first aid kits found here fit a variety of lifestyles, so you’re sure to find one—or pair a couple—that will help keep your family safe.

1. Coleman Expedition First Aid Kit

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If the Coleman brand makes you think of heavy-duty water jugs and coffee thermoses, you’re on the right track. This first aid kit is designed for groups headed to the great and rugged outdoors.

Pro: The kit contains plenty of bandages, organizes contents with the “EZ Find System,” and features a durable case.

Con: The kit includes a razor blade but lacks scissors.

2. TripWorthy Compact First Aid Medical Kit

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Geared towards people who love spending time outdoors, this kit’s small size is deceiving. It contains almost any bandage imaginable.

Pro: The kit includes a glow stick, a poncho, and bandages for a spectrum of body parts.

Con: At 1.1 pounds, the kit isn’t heavy, but it might be hard to fit in a backpack. 

3. PrepareMe America 4-Person Perfect Survival Kit

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If you live in a disaster-prone region, you’ll want to buy this kit. It features all the supplies needed for four people to survive for three days, as well as a number of first aid items.

Pro: This kit comes with a hand crank AM/FM radio, food, water, and a large first aid kit.

Con: At over thirty pounds, this is definitely not a kit you’d take backpacking.

4. Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight Medical Kit

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The Adventure Medical Kit first aid kit caters to the lone ranger, comes in three sizes, and weighs around twelve ounces.

Pro: This kit has three waterproof barriers to keep your first aid supplies safe.

Con: Some customers report that the water-resistant zipper can make the kit difficult to open.

5. Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid Kit

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For lengthy bike rides or hikes in the woods, you can’t go wrong with Lifeline’s kit. Containing fifty-seven items to help with burns and wounds, it fits in a backpack or attaches to a bicycle.

Pro: You’ll barely notice any added weight—it weighs a mere 2.7 ounces.

Con: If you experience a sprain, strain, or fracture while hiking or biking, this kit won’t be much help.

6. The First Years American Red Cross Baby Healthcare Kit

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If you have a kid, you’ll wonder how you ever left home without this kit. It meets every requirement for a young child who’s not feeling well.

Pro: The kit contains a nasal aspirator, digital thermometer, and medicine dropper.

Con: The product doesn’t include bandages or medicine, so you’ll need to supplement it with other first aid items.

7. Medibag Kid-Friendly First Aid Kit

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This Medibag first aid kit truly serves the whole family. It contains 117 pieces, including kid-friendly bandages and stickers.

Pro: This kit helps you successfully distract kids as you treat wounded knees and elbows.

Con: The case is made of durable plastic, but it looks and feels like carrying a dress-up doctor’s kit.

8. JoJo Modern Pets First Aid Kit

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If you own a kitten or a dog that likes to chew everything in sight—even sharp objects or potentially poisonous plants—purchase JoJo’s kit. It holds sixteen items essential to handling a pet emergency.

Pro: JoJo says you can use many of the items on humans, but read the directions before applying any of the ointments to a person’s skin.

Con: The kit says it’s meant for the outdoors, but its size might make it better as an at-home pet first aid kit.

9. Adventure Medical Kits Marine 300

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If the water calls your name instead of the woods, give the Adventure Medical Marine 300 kit a look. It features products specific to sailing the seven seas.

Pro: You’ll quickly find the right medication with the kit’s clearly marked bags.

Con: The kit isn’t meant for a trip around the world. You’ll need to purchase additional supplies if you plan to head out for several days.

10. AAA Warrior Road Kit

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This kit doesn’t have the most first aid items, but it will help get you back to civilization and an emergency room.

Pro: AAA’s kit contains a heavy-duty flashlight, jumper cables, and an air compressor.

Con: The kit is large and includes some basic first aid supplies, but it’s truly designed to save automobiles rather than humans. Complement it with a standard first aid kit to cover all your bases.

With the kits recommended and advice given here, you’ll be ready for any emergency. Scraped chins and sprained ankles have nothing on you thanks to your pre-made first aid kit.

*SafeWise has conducted impartial research to recommend products. This is not a guarantee. Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products.

Erin Feldman

Find out more about Erin, here.

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