Preparing a DIY First aid Kit based on Your Risk Profile

A First aid kit is an important piece of paraphernalia in our homes, cars, schools, workplaces or in any other place we may find ourselves.

This is because you cannot avoid injuries and sudden sicknesses that require emergency action, but you can always be prepared to deal with these cases when they occur.

The first thing is to learn about the importance of first aid and how to do it to yourself, and then to another person.

Training you the right information on what to do, when, and how. This know-how is useful in selecting which clinical items to be used in any situation.

The Critical Role of First Aid Training

It is therefore, a good idea to get first aid training from a reliable institution that will equip you with the right knowledge. This is because your first aid kit won’t make any difference in case you don’t know how to use it when an accident happens.

It may seem like no first aid knowledge is required to clean a wound, but a foundational understanding about anatomy can help one understand that different injuries should be treated differently.

This knowledge can be easily be acquired from different first aid training services online.

There are many first aid courses designed to curb trauma and blood loss and available for anyone willing to learn how to save lives.

They require no experience and anyone can pursue these courses. There also non-governmental organizations that offer some training on the same, such as the Red Cross and the American Heart Association.

In case you want to advance your skills, you can take a course as a first responder or an emergency medical respondent.

These certifications are available in the US and attendees are licensed. But regardless of whether your state recognizes certificates or not, the training will equip you with the necessary information useful in responding to emergencies.

You can also seek emergency response knowledge from your local hospitals, the nearest fire department, and/ or the nearest police officer.

This though should be a last resort for those who do not get first aid training anywhere including in online sites. Some of these departments offer First Aid training during their community outreach programs.

In case you find that they are not able to train you, they will always direct you accordingly. Most fire stations are always willing to advise and answer the questions of anyone who visit them.

It also makes sense to have a first aid kit so that you familiarize with its contents and their roles. First aid is a wide topic, you will learn about the different types of injuries and how to respond to each situation.

Having your own kit will also help you try your skills on any neighbors or siblings who suffer injuries in your presence. It is also a practical way to pass emergency response treatment knowledge to friends and family members.

After the training is done, what follows is getting the necessary items. Emergency health experts have compiled a list of clinical tools useful in responding to injuries into a box known as the aid kit.

So that means, if you can gather all these tools in one accessible box then you can have your home-made kit.

Pre-made kits vary in price depending on their uses, and are available in your local pharmacy.

Why Would You Need a DIY Kit

Although you can still find one of these market made kits that match your requirements, they might come with a set of challenges.

These challenge usually range from pointless items and poor quality items, to poor arrangement of the items which in turn compromises user-friendliness.

Again, because kits from different manufacturers are built for different emergency treatment needs, it can be difficult finding one that will suit all your needs.

Buying different kinds to come up with what you need can be an expensive idea; and may not give you the end result you’re looking for.

That’s why the idea of a DIY kit makes sense; you get something customized to deal with your specific set of risks.

There’s no harm in needing your custom-made kit because the types of risks vary and each requires different equipment to respond to.

Maybe personal kits can be more effective if kit-building companies provide the “order your custom-made kit” option. A customer can describe their risk profile, and discuss a list of equipment with the provider to come up with a kit tailored to meet their needs. 

But because that is not yet practical; a home-made kit is your best option if you need something self-made for your emergency response activities.

Think of your kit: Understand your Risk Profile

For you to make your own first-aid kit home, the first thing to do is to conceive it in your mind. Think of the needs your kit is expected to solve, the people it’ll help, and the cost of making it.

Those three elements will ensure you come up with a reasonable ide and first aid kit design that will meet all your needs.

Although it may be impossible to premeditate all the dangers of injury that lie ahead, you can evaluate the injuries that have occurred in the past according to their frequency.

This will help you know what you will need to address at most times, and will, therefore, influence the medical items you’ll have to buy.

Ensure that all the injuries or sicknesses that have occurred in the history of the family are written down together with their rate of occurrence.

Documenting everything will help you in identifying which incidences to term as most occurring, and which ones to classify under least occurring.

Include all risks of injury in all areas of the home, from your home garage to the children’s playground, from burns in the kitchen to cuts by broken objects, and other injuries within your home.

Then rate the risks between 0-5, with the least occurring being zero and the most occurring being 5. Start your preparation according to the rate of occurrence, from the commonly occurring to the least.

Sometimes, it might not be possible to prepare for all the risks, that’s why it is a good idea to start with the most required items.

It also helps to include any fatal medical conditions suffered by any of the family members. This could be a diabetic condition, an allergy, or even high blood pressure condition.

This assessment will help you in identifying what is more important in your home first aid kit box or bag.

It will also help you to plan for the kit, in terms of budgeting. To get the general risk profile in your home, you will have to do these detailed assessments in every area.

You might not notice it, but you successfully assess risks daily. Some of our daily activities pose great danger in our lives whether in the workplace or at home.

For a successful risk assessment process the following five steps are recommended. They include:

1. Identifying hazards.

2. Identifying who might be harmed and how.

3. Evaluating the risks and establishing suitable control measures.

4. Recording and documenting the findings.

5. Reviewing and updating the assessment.

Risk evaluation puts into consideration all factors enhancing safe and healthy environments. These factors include:

  • The likelihood of the occurrence of harm.
  • How severe harm could be if it occurs.
  • How well you are informed about the reducing, eliminating and controlling hazards and risks.
  • The presence of control measures meant to eliminate, limit or manage the risk.
  • Expenses linked with the control measures meant to eliminate, limit or manage the risks.

The following steps will ensure you assess risks correctly and come up with a kit that can address all your emergency response needs.

Define the Purpose of the kit

In this step, you’ll have to accomplish some analytical and writing tasks.

One of them is to state what risk the kit will be solving, and how often it will occur. This will help you in making a kit that will address all your problems.

Then fill the gap with “who” is in danger of this risk. Will the kit be addressing your risk alone, or are there other people involved? This involves your wife, children, and anybody else you care for, including your elderly parents.

This will give you a direction of what activities you will be using the kit for, and what medical challenges may arise in the course of using the kit.

Identify whether the kit will be specialized for a certain injury, or it will be generally for all home injuries.

It can be specialized to address work injuries in a certain work environment, be it in a construction site, electrical works site, a garage, a hardware, a timber works site, etc. in this case, you can have items that help in traumatic injuries, such as broken hand or leg, burns, and excessive blood loss.

The general kit can include all medical items, provided they are needed as per your identified risks.

So you may need to have a big bag, or a big box to accommodate all items that will make your first aid kit. The size of your bag or box will be determined by the number of problems that the kit is expected to address.

The location where the kit will be found or used is very important. This could be in your house, car, backpack, workshop, garage, or in any other place. The location will affect the size of the kit, as well as the number of items that can be found in it.

Because of space, the kit found at home and the kit in your car must be very different from the kit in your backpack and glove box in terms of items and the size.

The risks at home are also different from the risk away from home, such as in the workplace or when out for leisure.

Next, you should consider the distance from your home or workplace to the hospital. Your nearness to the hospital is important, especially when risk of the medical conditions such as high blood pressure is considered.

This determines the intensity of care you required before setting off for the hospital because, in such conditions, immediate intensive healthcare is always necessary.

If you live far away from the hospital, you also have to consider the kind of emergency response equipment that can sustain life long enough to allow you to reach a healthcare facility.

This applies especially to those who diagnose risks of life-threatening conditions. Make sure you emergency box has clinical items that can help would-be victims to survive as you rush them to the nearest healthcare center.

One of the many critical roles of first aid is to reduce the effects of an injury as a patient awaits professional medical assistance.

And furnishing your DIY medical box with the supplies needed to save lives can ensure your life-saving efforts are successful.

Again this explains the critical role of a home DIY kit in ensuring you get what you need for you emergency response needs.

Not many kits you find in pharmacies are built for such advanced life rescuing activities. You can actually buy most life-saving gadgets like AEDs as separate devices but not in first aid boxes.

In a nutshell, you should give your first aid kit a purpose. Is it a home-safety kit, a car-safety kit or a portable kit you will need to carry for your outdoor emergency treatment needs?

Find out which items you need for your Kit

Find out the requirements you will need for your first aid kit item according to the predetermined purpose of your kit.

They should be noted down according to order their importance. However, there are some basic items that are necessary for every emergency kit.

One of them is the Band-Aids, which is an obvious item in a kit that you can use to addresses many problems. You can keep at least a hand full of the Band-Aids in your kit.

These include both the knuckle and fingertip Band-Aids. It is a good idea to keep the fabric types because they hold firmly and for a longer time.

You should also go for a wound cleaning agent because most cuts can cause infections. This is because the cutting materials may have rust or other disease-causing bacteria.

The cleaning agent will help in the case you are wounded and cannot access water and soap to use in cleaning the wound.

You will have to keep other items for simple injuries. For instance, antibacterial wipes can be used along with the cleaning agent. Antiseptic agents include Hibiclens or hydrogen peroxide, which is one of the best cleaning agents for wounds in both children and grownups.

For the purpose of preventing infection, you will need an antibiotic ointment in your kit. It could be in the form of a tube of Neosporin, or packets of antibiotic ointments.

Some laceration cuts are deep enough to leave an open, and this can lead to infections, and worsen the injury as tissues pull.

This may require you to use some pressure to limit blood loss as you seek medical care. It is a good idea to carry butterfly closures in your first aid kit to keep the tissue edges together in case of a deep cut.

Injuries occur when we least expect them, and in some cases, it may be hard to control blood flow. Because you will not be carrying paper towel always, you will need a gauze in your medical toolbox to serve this purpose.

You will also have to be equipped with burn treatment items in your emergency kit. This is because burns occur anywhere, and unpredictably.

It can occur when you accidentally touch a radiator of an overheated engine, or when you touch any other heated item. Your kid can also touch or step on a hot object.

Burns are treated through reducing the burning effect, and this involves cooling it. This can be done by wrapping the burn with sterilized gauze. You can also apply burn gel, which is available in packets and can be found in your nearest pharmacy.

The availability of triangular bandages in your kit will prove to be beneficial.

These can be useful when using a band to temporarily treat a broken collar bone or an arm.  They will also be useful in pressure-dressing in the case of continuous bleeding.

Another commonly used item to include in your kit is a pair of nitrile exam gloves. It helps in preventing contact with anyone’s body fluids such as blood or other body fluids, which can lead to infection.

This is because blood-borne pathogens can easily be transmitted if you get into contact with an infected person’s body fluids. They also cover your hands to prevent infections from dirt on your hands.

When you have added all these basic items for a first aid kit, you can now have the other items you consider must-haves but haven’t been included in this list.

Ensure that you have the things you’ll need most first, i.e., those that you will use from time to time.

The knowledge on when first aid can help and how far it can go is very important.

You have to appreciate that at times first aid is never helpful, and you have to accept when it is time to seek further medical care. When it’s time to call for help, you have to do so.

It is important to have health-related information in your kit, both yours and your family members’. This could be life-risking health conditions, regularly taken medications, health history, and any allergies. This will assist the people around you to help you.

Medical data will also help in avoiding confusions when it comes to using the numerous medical prescriptions. With this list that you can always review prescriptions to tell which medicine to take at what time.

The usefulness of the health-related information increases if you include your details in it. The details can be your names and date of birth, height and weight, and a contact person’s information, including how you relate with them.

This can help in getting more information about you, and avoid life-threatening instances.

You can also include your medical information, such as blood type, types of medications taken, times the medication is taken, and the reason it is taken.

Conditions such as allergies, diabetic condition, and high blood pressure or heart attack should be clearly stated. It is also important to include any serious clinical procedures you’ve ever undergone, such as surgeries.

Noting down everything ensures you take the right medication at the right time.


Before using anything in your kit, ensure you know why you are using it and what results you are aiming at. Do not include anything you don’t have enough knowledge about. This will minimize the occurrence of inconveniences caused by human error, and lack of knowledge.

As a first aid giver, always avoid taking treatment measures. First aids are not treatments and the items in your kit aren’t made for treatment.

Engaging in treatment activities can cause death or serious damages, which can land you in jail. It is therefore important to avoid crossing the boundaries emergency treatment.

After creating one first aid kit, it is not good to limit yourself to it. This is because your needs are advancing each day, and you will have to upgrade your kit to meet your day to day requirements.

You can make kits for all the places you visit for your daily activities. This could include your house, your workplace, garage, and even in your car.

Follow the above tips to get the best results. It is important to always work out a reasonable budgets for your DIY Kit.