Store bought first aid kits can be quite expensive and filled with items that you do not use or maybe do not need in your all natural arsenal of injury management. Depending on your family’s needs you may be able to put together a DIY home first aid kit. As with any first aid kit, you will need to re-stock as supplies are used. So what are the basics of a first aid kit anyway?
The sanitary way to apply anything to a small wound or cut. Pack a small container of these in your first aid kit and refill as needed. I keep a few stashes of cotton balls all around the house. I keep them in the medicine cabinet, first aid kits, even in the kitchen (click here to find out why).
Are these really necessary? A bottle of rubbing alcohol and a sanitary supply of cotton balls (above) will do just fine for a home first aid kit. Save the alcohol wipes for your travel first aid kit or your bug out bag first aid kit. Don’t waste them for home use when the ingredients are so basic you can easily DIY.
Suite yourself on this one, whatever is most convenient. However, in my house, small children tend to raid the first aid kit and overuse band-aides for scratches so small you cant even see them (if they even exist), just to get attention. Band-aides have no hope of lasting with a four year old running around in my house. I stumbled upon this stretchable bandage tape that I started using when the band-aides ran out (picked it up from a first aid kit that an old tenant of mine left behind). I use it the same way most nurses and phlebotomists do after drawing blood, apply a cotton ball, secure with bandage tape. Works wonders around here, let me tell you. The bandages are easy to tear and the toddlers don’t go near them…way too much hassle for a toddler I suppose. Unlike band-aides, the cotton balls absorb and hold in place any lavender or Neosporin I need to drop on them to treat the wound. This brings me to my next ingredient.
Essential Oil of Lavender
I like to use the analogy of “what eats that?” when seeking cures for common microbes. Lavender is an answer I come up with most of the time. Viral infections? Lavender eats that. Bacterial infections? Lavender eats that. Fungal infections? Lavender eats that too (but not the way tea tree oil devours them). I swear by lavender to eat the fluids of chicken pox outbreaks, minor staph skin infections, boils, etc. and keep the infections from spreading. Lavender cleans and prevents the bacteria from infecting minor wounds and cuts and it also works beneath the layers of the skin to help it heal. As an added benefit it smells good and calms the nerves. Essential oil of lavender is an essential component of any first aid kit of mine.
Although I do consider aloe essential to my first aid kit, I do not keep it in the first aid kit. I usually keep it in the kitchen when I purchase a whole leaf, or I keep a plant in the sunroom if I don’t manage to kill the poor thing. Aloe works wonders for soothing and healing burns, including sunburn. I use it to seal deep cuts and scrapes after cleaning them thoroughly. I sometimes mix it with Shea butter and – yep, you guessed it – lavender, to make my own natural alternative to Neosporin.
Unscented castile soap
Diluted with three parts water to every one part liquid soap, castile soap makes an excellent, low cost addition to any first aid kit. Washing cuts and scrapes is the first line of business when managing injuries. I keep a diluted bottle on the sink in a foaming soap dispenser, under the sink in a 32 oz bottle, and in my travel and car first aid kits in a smaller travel sized bottle.
While I tend to use alcohol on a cotton ball for cuts, I defer to peroxide for scrapes. I don’t know why. I’m just quirky like that. According to my son, it burns just as bad. However, I do appreciate the way peroxide just eats through pus on a wound though. Peroxide in general has so many uses that I will have to save that list for another post.
What are the essential items you have to have in your first aid kit?