Having medical supplies in your apartment just makes good sense. A well-stocked first-aid kit can help you respond effectively to common injuries and emergencies, according to the Mayo Clinic . Especially when an urgent need for an adhesive bandage or ice pack happens.
Why not be prepared and tailor a first aid kit to meet your everyday needs? A homemade first aid kit for minor emergencies lets you pick and choose all the must-haves. It doesn’t need to cost a slew of bucks either. Start your medicinal scavenger hunt at your local dollar store, where you’ll likely be surprised by the inventory.
The first step, determine your budget. Spend between $10 and $20 and have plenty of handy essentials right at your fingertips. Your first aid kit can be easily stored neatly in a pantry, or beneath the sink in your kitchen or bathroom.
We’ve organized a list of basics to help you get your homemade first aid kit ready for use.
1. Pain relievers
Generic-brand pain relievers come in many formats such as gel, lotion and patches. Use pain relievers for headaches and to reduce swelling. Find them for less at discount stores.
You can also look for brand name pain relievers at your favorite big-box retailer, drug store or pharmacy. If you have a rewards card at your drug store, you can also look for two-for-one deals on the pain relievers that work best for you.
2. Reusable ice packs
Reusable ice packs, which you can store in the freezer, are musts for your first aid kit. They should be your go-to to reduce swelling from bumps and twists.
If you need an ice pack immediately but don’t have one that’s cold, make an investment and buy instant cold packs. They’re easy to use: Snap the seal inside or squeeze the pack and they get cold in an instant! Just be sure to look for ones that are non-toxic.
3. Protective gloves
Be cautious about cleanliness. Try to keep a wound that requires attention clean of germs by picking up non-latex gloves. Look for deals. Sometimes, they come in multi-packs.
4. Minor wound dressing
Think of what you might need to dress minor wounds from accidental falls or burns from cooking. The list could include:
- Gauze pads
- Elastic wraps
- Assorted band-aids
- Cute band-aids for littles
- Adhesive tape
- Bandage strips and “butterfly” bandages in assorted sizes
- Antibiotic ointments
- Antiseptic cleansers
5. Hydrogen peroxide
You can shop for hydrogen peroxide at the dollar store of choice. You can also save there on musts like hand sanitizer and non-latex gloves for whoever is administering the first aid.
Be sure to have items you use every day, including cotton balls and swabs. They’ll serve double-duty in the bathroom for everything from ear cleaning to makeup removal.
Look for tweezers for splinter removal in the health and beauty section. Get small scissors for cutting bandages or gauze to the right length, too.
To know for sure if someone is running a fever, you should pick up a thermometer and add it to the kit’s mix. Some digital varieties even come with disposable plastic sleeves. These are great if you have more than one child whose temperature must be taken.
9. First aid box or case
Check the automotive and household aisles and you might score a small, sectioned case with a snap-lock to store everything in.
10. First aid manual
It’s also helpful to include a first aid manual in your kit as a guide for treating minor injuries and wounds. Look for one with instructions on performing CPR and diagrams of how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, in the event of choking.
Need more stuff?
For more extensive homemade first aid kits, you’ll probably have to stray outside the bounds of the dollar store. Head to your local pharmacy or supermarket to pick up extra items.
Now that you’ve created a first aid kit for your apartment, you’re a pro! Create a second first aid kit to keep in your car. You never know when it could come in handy.