15:21 PM

Emergency Prep: Stock Your First-Aid Kit

Everyone should have a well-stocked first-aid kit at home, in the car and in the workplace. You may also want to stock a portable kit that can be taken to the site of an emergency.

“Check your kit regularly to replenish items that have been used, and to replace items that are out-of-date,” says pediatrician Debra Carter, MD, with LVPG Pediatrics–Trexlertown.

Here are recommended items to have in your first-aid kit:


  • Bulb syringe (for flushing wounds)
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer (oral)
  • Tweezers


  • Adhesive tape
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Cotton balls
  • Elastic bandages
  • Hypoallergenic tape
  • Sling (triangular-shaped cloth)
  • Sterile eye patches
  • Sterile gauze pads (4” x 4”)
  • Stretchable gauze roll
  • Waterproof tape 


  • Acetaminophen
  • Antacid
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antidiarrheal medicine
  • Antihistamine
  • Aspirin (for adult use only)
  • Antiseptic ointment
  • Calamine lotion
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Ibuprofen
  • Sugar or glucose solution 

Miscellaneous items

  • Alcohol (rubbing 70%)
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Blanket
  • Candles
  • Chemical ice packs or ice bag
  • Chemical hot packs or hot water bottle
  • Cotton swabs
  • Disposable gloves (non-latex if you or a loved one has a latex allergy)
  • Face mask for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • First-aid book
  • Flashlight with batteries
  • Insect repellent
  • Insect sting swabs
  • Matches
  • Measuring spoons
  • Paper and pencil
  • Paper cups
  • Safety pins
  • Soap
  • Sunscreen
  • Tissues
  • Tongue depressors (also called tongue blades) 

“In the event of an emergency, you can also use some everyday household items to help,” Carter says. For example, you can use:

  • Disposable or cloth diapers for compresses, bandages or padding for splints
  • Dish towels for bandages or slings
  • Umbrella, rolled magazine or layered newspaper for use as a splint

If your child or other family member has a special medical need, carry extra medical supplies when you go on an outing or trip. Some of these items might include:

  • An allergy kit with medicines for people allergic to insect stings or certain foods
  • Prescription medicines (make sure they’re stored properly and aren’t expired), syringes and special equipment or supplies

Be sure any member of your family who has a special medical need wears a medical alert bracelet or similarly designed necklace at all times. These engraved items can alert emergency responders to a person’s medical condition(s), allergies, sensitive medication(s) he or she takes, or the presence of an implanted medical device. These items are available through many vendors, including online retailers and local pharmacies.

Visit LVHN.org/children to learn more about Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital and to find a health care provider for the kids in your life.