How to Build Your Own First Aid Kit: Be Prepared to Act on Minor Injuries

While we hope you won’t need a first aid kit for anything more than to disinfect a scratch, it’s always a good idea to be prepared in case an accident strikes. You should keep at least one first aid kit at your house, your workplace and one in your car as a safety accessory. A first aid bag is your go-to for decreasing the severity of an accident and preventing infection, regardless of the degree of the damage, from minor to more serious diseases. 

While you may be able to buy one of these pre-made kits that meets your needs, they come with their own set of issues such as low-quality materials, superfluous things, and a lack of organization that makes finding what you need when you need it difficult. That’s why it’s best to do it yourself.

first aid bandage

Building Your First Aid Kit: The Essentials

Emergency and Triangular Bandages

Bandages are one of the most common components in any first-aid kit. They can be used for anything from a sling and a swathe to temporarily treat an upper extremity fracture to splinting a foot or ankle fracture by tightly wrapping a pillow around the foot. If you have an injury that won’t stop bleeding, a triangle bandage may be utilized as a pressure dressing almost anyplace. A handful of them should be in your first-aid kit. 


For treating wounds, bandages are used in combination with a dressing. To keep the dressing in place, a roller bandage is utilized. To stop bleeding, a triangle bandage is used as an arm sling or as a cushion. It may also be used to support or immobilize bone or joint damage, as well as improvised padding over a painful injury. To keep a dressing on a finger or toe, a tubular gauze bandage is used.

Due to their ability to put adequate pressure on an injured area, bandages are a must-have item in any first-aid kit to stop any bleedings caused by road accidents, workplace injuries, home injuries, and other mishaps. Wound dressings will be packaged in a sterile packet that should be opened with clean or gloved hands. The sterile dressing is then not taken from the opened packet until the wound is ready to be covered, in order to avoid infection.

Burn Treatment

Burns may occur anywhere. You should be prepared for a burn if your child touches a hot stove or if you remove the radiator cap on an overheated motor. Grabbing a hot pot or spilling boiling water on your skin are only two of the most common causes of burns in the home. When you receive a burn, the first thing you should do is figure out what kind it is. First-degree burns are unpleasant but not life-threatening. They swell and turn reddish. Blisters occur on second-degree burns. The skin may become very red and painful. Third-degree burns appear white or burned on the skin. Because nerves have been destroyed, the burns will not cause any pain.


The treatment consists of putting a halt to the burn, cooling it down in some way,  and covering the burnt area with sterile gauze/dressing. To decrease swelling, soak the burnt area in cold water for at least 5 minutes. To calm the region, use an antiseptic spray, antibiotic ointment, or aloe vera cream. Wrap a gauze bandage loosely around the burn. Take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to alleviate discomfort. I chose basic burn gel packets that may be applied on a burn before wrapping them for my kit. There are also numerous sophisticated burn dressings on the market that you may check into to see what best suits your needs.

Wound Cleaning Agent

If a tiny cut becomes infected, it can become a major issue. While soap and water are the best approach to clean wounds and prevent infection, if you’re using a first aid kit, you’re probably not near a sink. So even something as simple as antiseptic wipes for small injuries should be included in your pack. If you maintain a bigger first aid box, a tiny bottle of hydrogen peroxide or Hibiclens is also a good idea. Isopropyl alcohol or alcohol wipes are OK, but they can hurt a lot. Just trust me if you’ve never experienced this yourself. Antiseptic wipes or hydrogen peroxide are ideal for children.


Antibiotic Ointment

This medicine is used to prevent and cure minor skin infections caused by minor wounds, scrapes, or burns. It is accessible for self-medication without a prescription. This product should not be applied to large regions of the body. Most cuts and scrapes will heal without ointment, although it can help minimize scarring and speed up the healing process. If you must use an antibiotic ointment, apply it to your skin one to three times each day and cover it with a clean bandage.


Don’t count on having Kleenex or paper towels on hand to stop the bleeding. You’ll need gauze for this. While there are many other types of gauze, the most common are 44 gauze pads and rolled gauze. Place a couple of 4x4s on top of a bleeding cut, apply pressure, then beat your way to the ER. Rolled gauze wrapped tightly can be used as a pressure dressing or just to keep the gauze in place. Once you’ve applied gauze and applied pressure, don’t let go to see if the bleeding has stopped. Simply keep holding on. Gauze and tape are ideal for covering big wounds and scrapes that bandages cannot.

Over-the-Counter Medication

Consider keeping a modest supply of over-the-counter medications in your first-aid box. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, Paracetamol) are effective pain relievers and fever reducers. Ibuprofen also helps to decrease inflammation, which might be beneficial in some cases. In the case of minor allergic responses, Benadryl might be administered. If you wish to be prepared in the case of a heart attack, keep aspirin on hand. As I previously stated, depending on your needs, this might also include oral glucose and an Epi-Pen.


Goods can run out if you use them frequently, and prescriptions can expire if you only use them occasionally, so check through your kit and replace any empty or out-of-date items at least once a year.

You don’t have to bandage every cut and scrape. Some people recover faster when they are left exposed to dry out. However, if the wound is on a region of the body that could become filthy or rub against clothing, cover it with a bandage to protect it. Replace the bandage every day or if it becomes moist or filthy.