Everyone, sometime in their life, will encounter an emergency situation necessitating first aid. Many of these injuries and sudden illnesses require supplies found in a good first-aid kit. Such kits should be located in homes, automobiles, offices and any other place people frequent. Pre-made kits are generally less versatile than one compiled by those anticipating using it.

First-aid supplies can be packed into a container such as a fishing tackle box or a plastic refrigerator box. The case or container should be durable in temperature extremes, water- and dust-tight, and sized to contain the desired supplies.Suggested contents:

Activated charcoal

Adhesive strip bandages, assorted sizes

Adhesive tape, 1- and 2-inch rolls

Alcohol, rubbing (70 percent)

Alcohol wipes


Antibiotic skin ointment (mycin family or triple antibiotic)

Baking soda

Calamine lotion

Chemical ice pack

Chemical hot pack

Cotton balls

Cotton swabs

Decongestant tablets and spray

Diarrhea medication

Disposable gloves, latex or vinyl

Elastic bandages, 2-, 3-, and 4-inch widths

Face mask with one-way valve

National Safety Council's First Aid Guide:

Flashlight (small) and extra batteries

Gauze pads, 2x2 and 4x4 inches

Hot-water bottle

Household ammonia

Hydrocortisone cream (.5 percent)

Hydrogen peroxide

Hypoallergenic tape

Ice bag (plastic)

Insect repellent


Measuring cup and spoons



Non-adhering dressing

Oil of cloves

Over-the-counter pain medication (aspirin and acetaminophen)

Over-the-counter antihistamine

Paper and pencil

Paper drinking cups

Roller, self-adhering gauze, 3- and 4-inch widths

Rubber tubing

Safety pins, various sizes




Space blanket

Spenco (Sam Splint)



Syrup of ipecac

Thermometer - 1 oral, 1 rectal

Tongue blades

Triangular bandages, 3 or 4


Waterproof tape

Zinc oxide

- CALL THE UTAH SAFETY COUNCIL at 533-5851 or 1-800-933-5943 if interested in taking a first-aid course. If you have an interest in becoming a first-aid training agency, contact either the Utah Safety Council or the National Safety Council in Chicago by calling 1-800-621-7619, ext. 7206.

For youth groups participating in summer camps and other activities, your group can qualify as a training agency and can use the state-of-the-art National Safety Council first-aid training program to prepare leaders and/or youths.

- Alton Thygerson is a professor of health sciences at Brigham Young University.