First-Aid Essentials

Keep the following first aid supplies in the household to treat unexpected injuries.

Cuts and Abrasions

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Adhesive bandages (Band-Aids) of various sizes
  • Roll of adhesive tape
  • Sterile dressings (esp. 4”x 4” gauze pads)
  • Roll of 4” gauze (to hold dressings)
  • Pair of blunt-end scissors

Eye Injuries

  • Prepared eyewash and eye cup

Burns (minor)

  • Burn ointment or spray

Skin Problems

  • Hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion (itches & rashes)
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Antifungal powder or spray for athlete’s foot
  • Sunscreen and sunburn spray for relief
  • Insect repellent

Poison (swallowed)

  • Syrup of ipecac (to induce vomiting, after consulting physician or poison-control center)
  • Activated charcoal (to absorb poisons that shouldn’t be regurgitated)
  • Epsom salts (to speed excretion of poison)

Heat Exhaustion

  • Sodium bicarbonate (mix a pinch with ¼ teaspoon salt in quart of water, and drink)

Pain Relief

  • Aspirin or other over-the-counter pain reliever


  • Surgical tweezers for removing splinters
  • Cotton balls
  • Elastic bandage for sprains
  • Ice bag to reduce swellings
  • Hot-water bottle and heating pad for aches and pains
  • Aspirin and/or acetaminophen for pain relief and fever reduction
  • Thermometer
  • Sodium bicarbonate for bee, ant, and wasp stings


The 2009 Old Farmer's Almanac

Add new comment