First Aid

Be prepared on the spot with first-aid supplies and know-how.

Building a first-aid kit doesn’t take much time. In fact, you can even purchase one already stocked with supplies. It’s an easy first step to get ready, and you’ll be glad you have one in your home and in your car if an accident or emergency occurs.

Check your kits every three months to be sure any items with batteries still work and to replace expired supplies.

Basic first-aid supplies include:

  • Adhesive tape
  • Aluminum finger splints
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic solution or towelettes
  • Bandages, including a roll of elastic wrap, and bandage strips in assorted sizes
  • Instant cold packs
  • Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs
  • Disposable latex or synthetic gloves, at least two pair
  • Gauze pads and roller gauze in assorted sizes
  • Eye goggles
  • First-aid manual
  • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Plastic bags for the disposal of contaminated materials
  • Safety pins in assorted sizes
  • Scissors, tweezers and a needle
  • Soap or instant hand sanitizer
  • Sterile eyewash, such as a saline solution
  • Thermometer
  • Triangular bandage
  • Turkey baster or other bulb suction device for flushing out wounds
  • First-aid instruction manual


  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Over-the-counter oral antihistamine (Benadryl, others)
  • Aspirin and nonaspirin pain relievers (never give aspirin to children)
  • Calamine lotion
  • Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream
  • Personal medications
  • If prescribed by your doctor, drugs to treat an allergic attack, such as an auto-injector of epinephrine (EpiPen)
  • Syringe, medicine cup or spoon
  • Activated charcoal (use only if instructed by your poison control center)
  • Sunscreen

Red Cross puts first-aid in the palm of your hand.

The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the first aid app gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common firstaid emergencies. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know first aid. 

More information at