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Cuts and scrapes, bumps, burns, and bruises––they all happen to the best of us, especially when we're under three feet tall and running around the house at Mach 2. The good news is that most of these common minor injuries can be treated at home, as long as you've got a few basic supplies on hand.

Putting Together a Home First Aid Kit

Putting together a home first aid kit is simple, and often much less expensive than buying a pre-made kit. Additionally, you can adjust the contents to suit the types of injuries you are more likely to encounter based on your living situation.

Especially if you have kids in the house, you're probably going to end up needing more than the two or three big knee bandaids that you're likely to find in commercial kits. Stock up at a wholesale club or discount drug store, and you'll be good to go.

Assemble the First Aid Kit Components

Start by getting a container for your kit that is easily portable and able to be organized so you can find whatever you need quickly. Tackle or small tool boxes, art supply or makeup boxes are great for storing everything you'll need. Next, consider the following list of items for your kit: alcohol wipes, hydrogen peroxide, antiseptic hand cleaner, exam gloves, triple-antibiotic ointment, burn gel, calamine lotion, thermometer, tweezers, sterile gauze, elastic bandages, triangular bandages, bandage scissors, medical adhesive tape, several sizes of adhesive bandages, insect bite swabs, instant cold packs, acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen, and a barrier device for CPR. A flashlight, first aid book, and emergency phone numbers are key items as well.

Keep the First Aid Kit Simple

Remember that your kit doesn't need to be huge––you always have the medicine cabinet and bathroom closet for the bulk stuff. The idea here is just to have something that's easy to find, grab, and carry to wherever it needs to go. Keep it accessible for adults but out of reach for kids, and be sure to replace items after you use them and before their labeled expiration dates.

Know When to Call 911

Always remember that when encountering injuries like bleeding that will not stop, unresponsiveness, serious burns and breathing issues, or if you feel you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately. For more information on when to call 911, go to firstaid.about.com.

First Aid Kit On-the-Go

It's not a bad idea to keep a mini version of your home first aid kit in the car, especially if you're traveling long distances or on vacation. But no matter what you stock in your travel kit, experts recommend just one absolute essential. Having a cell phone on hand for emergencies could mean the difference between life and death, especially in an auto accident. While many people carry cell phones regularly, keeping an old handset and car-charger in your emergency kit ensures you'll always have a way to call 911 when you need one.

Federal law mandates that any working cell phone can call 911, even if it's not prepaid or on a calling plan. So don't plan to use this one to call a buddy when you get a flat, just relax with the peace of mind that you will always be just three digits away from emergency assistance.

I'm Jonathon Stewart with About.com.
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