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How to Choose a Pre-Made First Aid Kit

Written by | Updated March 20, 2017

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.

9 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

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.

Pros

  • Plenty of bandages
  • Organized with "EZ Find System"
  • Durable case

Cons

  • Includes a razor blade but lacks scissors

2. TripWorthy Compact First Aid Medical Kit

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

Pros

  • Variety of bandage sizes
  • Contains a glow stick and poncho

Cons

  • Difficult to fit in a backpack

3. Sustain Supply Co. 4-Person Emergency Survival Kit

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.

Pros

  • Comes with lights and a large first aid kit
  • Enough food and water for 4 people for 72 hours

Cons

  • Weighs almost 30 pounds

4. Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight Medical Kit

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

Pros

  • Three water-proof barriers

Cons

  • Difficult zipper to open

5. Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid Kit

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.

Pros

  • Super light at 2.7 ounces

Cons

  • This kit won't help with a serious injury like a sprain or broken bone

6. The First Years American Red Cross Baby Healthcare Kit

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.

Pros

  • Contains a nasal aspirator, digital thermometer, and medicine dropper

Cons

  • Doesn't include bandages or medicine

7. Medibag Kid-Friendly First Aid Kit

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

Pros

  • Helps you distract kids while you treat scrapes and cuts
  • Case made of durable plastic

Cons

  • Looks and feels like a dress-up doctor's kit

8. New Market Squared Pet First Aid Kit for Dogs & Cats

If you own a kitten or a dog that likes to chew everything in sight—even sharp objects—purchase this first aid kit. It holds 45 items essential to handling a pet emergency.

Pros

  • Is compact and easy to take on-the-go
  • Includes a pet emergency care handbook

Cons

  • Doesn't include any solutions if your pet eats something they shouldn't

9. AAA Warrior Road Kit

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

Pros

  • Contains a heavy-duty flashlight, jumper cables, and an air compressor

Cons

  • Includes some basic first aid supplies but is designed to save cars not humans

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.

Written by SafeWise Team

The SafeWise Team is here to help you keep your home and family safe. Whether you’re looking to pick a security system or identify and remove common risks in your home, we’re here to help you find the best products and well-researched answers. At SafeWise we combine our years of experience in home safety and security with user reviews and feedback to help take the guesswork out of living safe. Learn more

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