May 04, 2023

The 8 best first aid kits of 2023, according to experts



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Safety first!

That is usually the best policy, but we all know that accidents happen.

When they do, having a first aid kit on hand is essential, be you in your home and suffer a burn, in the car and have a cut to attend to or even on the go and need to address a wound in a pinch.

A first aid kit is also only helpful if it is stocked up with the right items and is ready to be used at a moments notice. Some common items include a variety of bandages in different sizes, antiseptic wipes, antibacterial cream and potentially some tweezers for splinters, a scissor, some gauze and maybe even an instant ice pack.

We suggest having a variety of these packed away, with one in your glove box or trunk, another in your medicine cabinet and then some smaller kits for your purse, child's backpack and more. Since all of our options can be ordered online, simply add a few to your cart and then relax, as you’ll be all set for upcoming summer adventures, vacations and back-to-school season come the fall.

We also consulted some safety experts, including Tara Ricard of AAA for first aid on the go, as well as Jeffrey Pellegrino, senior advisor to the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. Jump to the FAQ section for their insights on what to pack in your first aid kit, where to keep them stored and more information to keep you and your family safe.

This Amazon Choice product comes with everything you’d need in any minor injury setting, with plenty of bandages, antiseptic and gauze for wounds. You can also add your own medications, as the hard-shell case is protective and reusable.

This soft-sided first aid kit is great for on the go, fitting nicely in a glove box or in a go-bag. The kit comes with clear pockets so you can easily see what supplies you have and access them in

A waterproof case is a great idea, so that your bandages and other equipment stay dry no matter what. Inside, find four clear pockets so you can organize your supplies and keep everything in sight.

Not only is this a first aid kit for your dog, with bandages and gauze, but also an evacuation kit in case you have to leave in an emergency and need a water bowl, leash, drinking water and food to name a few necessities.

Driving in a car can present all sorts of other first aid situations if something goes amiss. Be prepared with this vehicle kit, that has not only first aid items but also jumper cables, a flashlight, duct tape, a screwdriver and more.

For the medical needs while on the road, also pack this vehicle-safe first aid kit in your trunk. This kit has bandages, antiseptic, burn cream, eye wash and more for any emergencies that can happen in a car.

In addition to first aid necessities for the whole family, a baby may need some extra items that this Babylist pack provides, such as a nasal bulb, a digital baby thermometer, skin protection paste, a cooling teether and more.

Those that hike and camp know that these activities can also bring other injuries and illnesses that should be accounted for in your first aid kit. This backpack style kit is perfect for adventures and has extra things packed inside like a thermal blanket, a hydration pack, a blister shield, glow stick, a tourniquet and more.

A first aid kit is really the first line of defense to have on hand, should there be any sort of accident. Be it a pesky blister that needs a bandage or a more troublesome injury that needs to be triaged before a trip to the doctor, the contents of your kit are important.

"Since time started humans have hurt themselves and we’ve learned how to take care of each other afterward. Odds are we’ll keep hurting ourselves and we have great tools to help," said Pellegrino. "A first aid kit holds the essentials to stop suffering and promote healing from injuries oracute illnesses."

Also since time has started, there are numerous ways to injure yourself, and so a first aid kit can have a number of things packed inside. Ricard, of AAA, notes that your kit can also change depending on the season or whom you are taking care of, be it yourself or a child.

"I’ve traveled with one since becoming a mother to be sure that if we’re at the park for example, that I’m prepared to handle a skinned knee or the like," said Ricard. "Mine always has bandages, alcohol pads to sterilize site, pain/fever reducer, antihistamine for seasonal allergies, nail clippers, and more. My kit changes with the seasons and includes sunscreen in the spring, summer, fall and in the winter, includes an emergency blanket."

According to both experts, these kits should be stored in a cool, not humid environment, like a medicine cabinet or in the trunk of your car if on the road. Then, be sure everyone in the group or household knows the location of the kit, so no matter who gets injured, everyone knows where the supplies are located and how to use them. Pellegrino also stressed this last part, explaining the need for first aid teaching using the Red Cross site and regular checking of the kit's contents.

"If you’re going to put a first aid kit where people know where it is and what's in it, consider teaching them how to use what's inside. Take a class or download the free American Red Cross First Aid app and activate the Red First Aid Skill on Alexa-enabled devices," he suggested. "You’ll also want to check it regularly because people will use the contents and you’ll want to make sure enough is there when you need it. Putting it on the same schedule of checking your smoke alarm could be a way to remember."

Below we also asked what items should be included for different situations, such as a kit for traveling, a kit for the car and a kit for caring for a child.

First aid supplies for everyone: "A first aid reference book/instructions for common injuries," said Pellegrino. "Even if you’re trained someone else may grab the kit and need to use it. [Also pack] something to stop bleeding and to clean a wound, with lots of options in styles and sizes."

First aid supplies for the car: "Because a car can heat up to 150 degrees when it's a 90 degree day, it's good to keep your kit in the trunk, under the seat or somewhere out of direct sunlight," said Ricard. "Bottled water in the trunk is a good idea to prevent dehydration, including a collapsible silicone water dish for your pet is a good idea. If you have an SUV or open trunk area, secure the water bottles as they become projectiles in the event of an accident. Some kind of food that would be shelf stable like trail mix or protein bars is a good idea too.Other items that could be useful include flares, tire plug kit or flx-a-flat, hand sanitizer, and a light."

First aid supplies for a child: "Add any medicines that they may need in an emergency, like epinephrine and inhalers, plus materials to splint a broken or displaced bone," said Pellegrino. "Many materials can be improvised, but an elastic bandage or triangular bandages can be really helpful in a kit."

First aid supplies for a pet: "Pack a tick removal device and an elastic band for making a tourniquet for a limb wound," said Pellegrino.

First aid supplies for traveling: "Pack a tourniquet for life-threatening bleeding, something to purify water and oral rehydration solution, which could be as simple as a salt and sugar mixture," said Pellegrino.

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