Try as we might, it’s impossible to avoid bumps and bruises completely, especially with fearless, curious and clumsy kiddos in the house. While you can’t avoid all scrapes and scratches, you can ready yourself for them. Protect yourself and your family with a well-stocked DIY first aid kit that will prepare you for a wide array of minor boo-boos and ouchies.
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Disclaimer: Please note that I am NOT a medical professional. This post is for informational purposes only and should not take the place of advice or recommendations from a healthcare professional. Please also note that first aid is often only the first step when an illness or injury occurs, and there are instances when administering first aid as an inexperienced person is ill-advised. It is important that you consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible in the event of a serious illness or injury or if there is any possibility of an internal injury. When in doubt, seek medical help.
Creating a DIY First Aid Kit With a Tackle Box
There is no shortage of ready-made first aid kits on the market. And while they’re all fairly sufficient, a vast majority of them left me wanting more.
They either don’t have everything I need or too much of things I essentially don’t need. But my biggest issue with most store-bought first aid kits is that they’re poorly organized.
Many of them house all of the first aid supplies in one large, single compartment container making it difficult to find what I’m looking for quickly. And for anyone administering first aid to a crying toddler, you know that time is of the essence.
So, I set out to put together my own DIY first aid kit.
And I knew just what I wanted to use to house all of my first aid supplies – a tackle box!
A tackle box is the perfect vessel for a first aid kit for multiple reasons:
- Tackle boxes have a wide array of compartments so keeping everything organized is easy. An organized first aid kit makes faster treatment possible.
- There are a lot of different styles and sizes of tackle boxes available, so you can customize your DIY first aid kit to meet your specific needs.
- They’re very affordable so you don’t need to break the bank to be prepared.
- Since tackle boxes are made with portability in mind, they are ideal for DIY travel first aid kits for camping, road trips or keeping in a vehicle.
This particular tackle box I found on Amazon checked all of my boxes: it’s a decent size, affordably priced and has inserts so that the compartments are adjustable. It also has a decent-sized bottom compartment for bigger, bulkier items.
Items to Include in a DIY First Aid Kit
I’ve created a DIY First Aid Kit Checklist to act as a guide when stocking your own kit. However, there are several things to consider when stocking your tackle box first aid kit:
- Where will you keep it? Home, vehicle, RV, boat, camping gear?
- What are the age ranges, conditions, needs, etc. of those that would potentially utilize the items in the first DIY first aid kit?
- What sort of activities do you expect to be involved in when in the vicinity of your first aid kit?
- How close are you to a hospital, clinic or another medical facility?
The supplies included in your DIY first aid kit should reflect the potential hazards associated with the answers provided to the questions above. For example, I would stock a home first aid kit for my family differently than the first aid kit I intend to keep in my RV when the kids have moved out and my husband and I hit the open road.
My best advice is to consider the potential injuries that are likely to occur in the vicinity of your DIY first aid kit and stock it accordingly. To borrow language from my better half – perform a risk analysis. Then make a plan to mitigate those risks as much as possible and arm yourself with the needed supplies to treat if necessary.
When putting together a DIY first aid kit, I like to separate supplies according to groups. Continue reading for a preview of some of the items included in my free DIY First Aid Kit Checklist.
Basic First Aid
- Adhesive Bandages – It’s ideal to keep an assortment of bandages on hand. I like to keep a variety of sizes and a mixture of fabric and waterproof. If you have kids, I highly suggest keeping some fun character bandages on hand. It’s amazing how a simple superhero bandage can alleviate painful boo-boos for kids 😉
- Antibiotic Ointment
- Gauze – Various sizes and types
- Saline Wound Wash
- Triangular Bandage – This is a great multi-purpose supply to keep on hand. It works well as a makeshift sling. It can also be used as a dressing to stop bleeding and even as a tourniquet.
- First Aid Manual – I highly recommend investing in a simple first aid manual. It’s not always enough to have supplies on hand if you don’t know what to do for specific injuries or emergencies.
- Tweezers – Great to have to remove splinters, stingers and ticks.
- Cold Compress – Reusable cold compresses are ideal to keep at home, but for travel first aid kits, these instant cold compresses work great.
- CPR Mask – This isn’t as crucial for a home kit, but if there is a chance that you may be in a situation to perform CPR on a stranger, then a CPR mask is a good addition to your first aid kit. The purpose is to provide a barrier between the rescuer and patient during CPR to prevent the transmission of bodily fluids and diseases.
- Dechoker – My husband picked a couple of these up on a whim, and I’m glad he did. It’s a device that uses suction to clear the airway when someone is choking. I especially like having these with kids in the house.
- Pain Reliever – I like to keep both Ibuprofen and Acetametaphin on hand, but this comes down to personal preference.
- Aspirin – It’s a good idea to keep some Aspirin in any first aid kit in the event of a heart attack.
- Eye Drops
- Burn Relief Spray – I seem to have a knack for burning myself, so I like to keep a burn relief spray on hand to treat minor burns.
THIS DIY FIRST AID KIT IS PERFECT FOR CAMPING!
Other Items to Consider
Depending on where you intend to keep your tackle box first aid kit, you may also consider including the following items:
- Flashlight/Headlamp – It’s a good idea to have some sort of light source in a first aid kit kept in a vehicle or camping gear. It’s not a bad idea to keep a flashlight in a home kit as well in the event of a power outage.
- Notepad and Pen – In certain situations, it’s good to record changing/worsening symptoms, keep track of treatments, times, etc.
- Emergency Number List – Keep the contact information for your family health care providers in your emergency first aid kit along with the phone numbers for other emergency services such as poison control and emergency road service providers.
- Medical History Forms – If you or any family member have any serious or chronic health conditions or allergies, keep this information in your first aid kit so that anyone providing treatment to that person is aware and can adjust accordingly. Also, be sure to include a list of prescribed medications along with dosage information.
- Bag(s) – Make sure you have a place to place medical waste in the event of treatment.
- Whistle – In a situation where you are injured and/or are with someone injured and cannot leave for help, a whistle can alert someone nearby of your location.
Tips and Tricks
- Cut out the portion of your medication box or bottle with the dosing information and expiration date so that you have this pertinent information stored with any medications.
- Regularly check the contents of your first aid kit and discard any items that are expired or compromised.
- Label the compartments of your DIY first aid kit with the supply/medication in it so it’s easy to find and return to the correct area.
- Even if you don’t have character bandages for kids, you can make even ho-hum bandages fun by drawing a small picture or including an encouraging word on them.
- A quality first aid kit will only take you so far. Consider pursuing first aid and CPR training. Check out your local YMCA and American Red Cross for information on available training classes.
What do you think? Would you turn a tackle box into a DIY first aid kit?
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