5 first aid essentials

5 Unexpected First Aid Kit Essentials

Unexpected.  That is the word I would use for kids.  So often things happen with my kids and I am left scratching my head saying “How is that even possible!”.  Well guess what, with kids ANYTHING is possible.

Thus, we must prepare ourselves for the seemingly improbably but definitely possible first aid crises that children fall into.  Even if we are just going to the park or just headed out to collect some pine cones.

Why Store Bought First Aid Kits Won’t Cut it

A first aid kit you picked up at the local budget mart is a good place to start.  If tiny Timmy took a tumble (say that fast!), an on-hand bandage is nice to have.

But Timmy’s scrape is not the unexpected.  Timmy tumbling at the perfect spot to land right into the hornet’s nest is unexpected.  What do you have in your generic first aid kit for that?

The Essentials

To prepare for the unexpected, we need to beef up that first aid kit!  These are 5 essentials for anyone to carry with them.  Add them to your budget-mart first aid kit, build you own… it doesn’t matter.  Just make sure these are with you.  Plus, they are cheap so no excuse.

These are the huh-never-thought-about-it extras.  I’m not saying these are the only thing you need.  I am also not giving any kind of medical advice.  These are just suggestions for a first aid kit.  If you need to learn how to use them, please take a first aid class.  The most high tech, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink first aid kit is not as effective if you don’t know how to use it.


Did you know that the next time you get stung by a bee you could have an allergic reaction?  It doesn’t matter if you were never allergic in the past.  Yuck!  Having antihistamine on hand will help with mild to moderate reactions, and it is the kind of thing to take sooner rather than later.

Antihistamine does not work fast enough to be a replacement for epinephrine (like an EpiPen) for severe reactions.  I wish it were a magic pill like that because an EpiPen is expensive!  But even those of you with an EpiPen should carry extra antihistamine.

Tampons or Pads

Now don’t get squirmy here guys!  Both tampons and disposable pads were originally created for the battlefield because they soak up A LOT of blood.  Therefore, they are perfect for those messy, bloody first aid situations that I hope you never meet.

Cheap.  Available.  Portable.  Really, they are prefect!  Tampons of course for puncture or gunshot wounds but also bloody noses.  Hunters and parents everywhere need them.

steri stripsWound Closure Strips

Now we hit one you may not have heard of before but I love these babies!  These are the better version of the old butterfly bandages that hold together small wounds.  Hence the name.  But unlike the butterfly bandages, they are thin strips of medical tape and really hold better.

We usually have the 3M Steri-strips on hand but you should be able to find generic brands at your local pharmacy.


Tweezers are so multi-purpose but we especially recommend them for ticks.  Lyme disease generally takes 36 to 48 hours to transfer from an attached tick.  So another case of the sooner treated the better.

You just need a plain pair of fine tipped tweezers.  There are all kinds of tick removal tools but they will just take up space in your kit when you can have the multi-use tweezers.

For info about how to remove ticks head over to the CDC website.  And you should check out our past post about preventing ticks in the first place.

tick removal
Photo from the CDC.gov


triangle_bandageTriangle Bandages

These are like the McGuyver of bandages!  Need a sling?  Triangle bandage.  Splinting an arm?  Triangle bandage.  Loin cloth?  Triangle bandage.

Really it is just a large triangle of loosely woven cotton so you can use them to wrap just about anything.  An since it is better for your first aid supplies to be multi-purpose, this really fits the bill.  They usually come with some safety pins as well.


So there you have it!  Take a few minutes today to drag out that first aid kit and see what you have ready.  Then head out to add these to your kit.  Kids and life can be unexpected but we can still come prepared!

What do you have in your first aid kit?

Don’t forget the Good Stuff!

If you need a little more help putting together a family first aid kit, grab hold of our checklist.   I am a super fan of building your own so this will get you started.

First Aid Checklist


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