Personal first aid kits for families

Hi, new here. Trying to put together go bags for my family. Thoughts on specific items to put into first aid kits for kids bags. Would prefer to do this so everyone has one in the event we were to get sperated. Kids are 10-14. Also, ideas on how not to spend a fortune doing this.


  • Comments (13)

    • 10

      Great idea of making a kit for each family member in case you get separated. It is a very likely possibility, so good to consider.

      I’d buy in bulk when you can. I bought like a 500 pack of assorted band-aids and I was able to split that up into multiple first aid kits. Check your local Dollar Tree store, they have quite the first aid section. And while it may still be cheaper to buy some things in bulk than 5 smaller boxes at the dollar store, you can maybe find something there that is cheaper than you can get elsewhere.

      Build the first aid kits with your kids and only put things in their kit that they know how to use and are comfortable with doing on their own. No need to put in something like a tourniquet or splint if they don’t know how to use it. Maybe all they know how to use are band-aids and antibiotic ointment, then that is a pretty cheap and small kit. 

      If your kids aren’t scouts, then that could be a good way to teach them about it. Look up a free copy of the first aid merit badge (available at your library or as a pdf in a google search) and teach them some basics from that. The boy scouts first aid merit badge book is written to that younger audience so they can understand and apply the things in it. 

      If you have any specific items you need advice on or want to help find a good deal, let me know and i’ll see if I can look it up and help.

    • 11

      Bma, Can’t add much to what Jay already wrote. Consider adding on outside of each kid’s first aid kit/bag their name and inside of bag, their name and contact info.  A photocopy of a school or scout ID card in a plastic holder attached to inside of bag would be ideal.

      The ID is for worst case scenerio where an emergency responder has to deal with the unconscious. Think of what you’re preparing as being the equivalent of a MedicAlert ID bracelet combined with a driver’s license.

      • 11

        The most important component in the FAK is the skill and training of the user.  Get your kids some training and certification – Red Cross or better.  Informal training in a family setting is way better than nothing.

        The training they receive will be better in many situations not at all related to SHTF – just a typical skill usually held by any competent adult – a status your kids are rapidly approaching..

      • 5

        I agree with hikermor, training is key! Something I can always improve on.

      • 5

        Identification, emergency contact info, and other medical information written down such as allergies, medications, and vaccination records is a great idea to put in each person’s kit.

      • 1

        That is an Excellent Idea!

    • 7

      Hi Bma, Good for you to start working on go bags for your family.

      Invisible item for kit: Family code word. This method is used extensively in schools.

      If separated from each other and person approaches saying “I am going to take you to your (mom, dad, bro, or sis, husband, wife), make sure they give the family code word. If the person truly knows where you are and has spoken with you and that you are missing family members, then that person also should know the family code word.

      This means that the who can deliver the family code word, is safe for the child or adult in your family to go with. 

      Make sure the word is easy to remember for everyone. If you speak a second language, then using a word other than in English can also prevent any lucky guessing. Make the word non disaster related, something only you and your family would know. Name of first pet, etc.

    • 3

      This is something I have worked on a LOT.  I am a big believer that kids having their own First Aid kits is vital.  Ever since my kids were little, we did this.  In the beginning it was mostly a ziploc bag with brightly colored band-aids.  Now that my kids are a little older (6 and 9) they even have kits in their school bags.  My kids aren’t trained to be EMT’s but they know how to use a BloodStop in their nose to stop a bloody nose, and they know how to use a Sting-Kill (benzocaine) to help with a Mosquito bite.  It has also helped us teach the kids how to triage a little.  What can they handle (independence! Important!) and what should we handle.  It is always a discussion.

      I recently actually wrote all this down and took pictures of my kids’ kits if you are interested.  I had a bunch of people at work asking me to help them be more prepared (CA Bay Area earthquake country, and all these rains and wildfires, etc).  

      Take a look at what my kids’ kits have.  I’d love advice on what to add, as well!!!


      As far as making it all cheaper, don’t forget you can use FSA or HSA dollars if you opted in to that at your work (yes, not everyone has that, but using pre-tax dollars is always a win!)

      • 2

        Great article, Dan.  I really appreciate how you emphasize the goal of ownership and self reliance.  I can only imagine how one of your kids feel when they help a classmate or teacher.  

        I can also second the Curad brand of bandage for another reason besides the cool color options.  I’ve had a workmate in the past and presently my husband who have real issues with adhesives.  The bandage rips off a layer of skin with it or causes a swollen rash – typically worse than the original injury.  For both of them Curad has been the only brand that they can tolerate.    

        You also discussed items that I’d not known about for nose bleeds and bites.  

      • 1

        Alicia, I am so pleased you enjoyed it!  I am sorry to hear about your family’s issues with adhesives, but the good thing is that knowing in advance means you can better prepare!!

      • 2

        yes.  The earlier experience with a workmate made me aware of it and now (decades later) I live it.  I mention it here because folks who may be filling a FAK for use with people they don’t know well (neighbors, workmates, strangers) may not realize this.   Paper medical tape is better than other options as well.  But in an emergency, anything is better than nothing.  

    • 1

      Emergency wound closure butterfly bandage