By Drs. Sally Robinson and Keith Bly

Many injuries are not threatening and do not require medical attention, but having a well-stocked first aid kit can be important in an emergency. Knowing how to treat minor injuries and having the following basic supplies can make a difference. Some pre-packaged first aid kits do not contain all that your family may need, so consider creating your own. Here’s what you will need:

• a container, such as a fishing tackle box or art supply box
• first aid manual (you may want to consider taking a first aid class as well)
• sterile gauze
• adhesive tape
• band-aids (in various sizes)
• elastic bandages
• tweezers
• sharp scissors
• safety pins
• disposable gloves
• cotton balls
• cotton swabs
• antiseptic wipes
• hand cleaner/soap
• antibiotic cream
• antiseptic solution (such as hydrogen peroxide)
• hydrocortisone cream
• acetaminophen and ibuprofen
• disposable instant cold packs
• heating pad
• calamine lotion
• petroleum jelly
• anti-diarrhea medication
• antacids
• sunscreen
• insect repellent
• antihistamine
• oral medication syringe (for small children)/dosing cup
• alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol
• thermometer
• small flashlight
• mouthpiece for administering CPR (call your local Red Cross to get one)
• emergency contact numbers (your family doctor, poison control center)

Make sure that none of the medications are expired. You may want to create more than one first aid kit – one for your home, one to keep in your car and smaller ones to carry along in diaper bags. Remember to keep them secure and out of children’s reach, but easily accessible in case they are needed.
Dr. Sally Robinson is a pediatrician in the division of children’s special services at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She teaches medical students about caring for children with chronic medical conditions. Dr. Keith Bly is a hospitalist and assistant professor of pediatrics at UTMB.

The Your Health column is written by health and medical experts at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The column focuses on topical health issues that we believe are of interest to your readers. It is e-mailed every Tuesday. If you have any questions about the column, or would like to suggest topics, please contact John Koloen, media relations specialist, at (409) 772-8790 or email