I grew up surrounded by excessive amounts of first aid supplies. When you come from an accident prone family having a well stocked cabinet was necessary. We had every type of bandage, multiple antiseptics, tensors, medical tape, easy access to crutches, canes and slings. Man, thinking back now was it ever impressive.
So when I moved out on my own for the first time I never thought to stock my own first aid supplies. They were always readily available so I didn’t even think about it. Of course I had a box of bandages (loving high heels and not having the money for super nice leather ones means so many blisters) but that’s where my kit started and ended. I realized the hard way that I needed to head out to the Pharmacy.
One night after some drinks and dancing I got home and realized I had cut my foot on a broken glass on the dance floor. I know gross right, and it was one of those dirty dance places where you want a tetanus shot just from using the bathroom. So I freaked out a bit and wanted to make sure my cut was clean so it didn’t get infected and fall off. So I did the best I could at 3 am and grabbed my bottle of vodka from the cupboard and cleaned it with that. I could tell it was working because damn that stung!
The next day I went out to the store and picked up some basics so I could use my booze for its intended purposes and not for wounds.
As a former lifeguard and first aid instructor here is a list of my recommended basics to keep on hand without overloading your minimal bathroom storage space:
Assortment of fabric bandages.
Big, little, wide, skinny, fingertip, circle, blister. You can usually find a variety pack but the more options you have the better.
Personally I wouldn’t even bother with the plastic ones. They fall off way too fast. But I wouldn’t oppose fun novelty plastic bandages for special occasions.
There’s a number of different products you can use to clean your injuries. However, I like to keep it simple and Hydrogen Peroxide can be used for so many other things around the house it just makes sense especially since it doesn’t last forever and the amounts you need to clean wounds is minimal
Here i recommend a wider tape. Around an inch wide. This way it can be used as a support for minor joint pain/injuries (the number of times I do something stupid to my wrists and need to wrap them is absurd and I find tape more effective than tensor bandages personally) and also can be used to keep bandages on or to create bandages for larger wounds with the next item
You can get individual sterilized packages or you can get it in a roll. Doesn’t matter. Keep some on hand for larger injuries or burns where you need to loosely cover it.
Yes technically you could use your eyebrow tweezers for things but do you really want to pull that stray mustache hair with the same tweezers that took a splinter out of someone’s foot? No amount of disinfecting would make me comfortable with that but hey you do you.
You only really need 1-2 pairs of these and just in case for larger injuries on someone else. An example as to why this might be helpful: your best friend comes over and you tell them one of your witty stories and they laugh so hard they fall off the couch. And bash their head on your new stone coffee table. Head wounds bleed like crazy… So gross… Luckily you have gauze and antiseptic but as you’re cleaning it for them and it’s still gushing you realize you have bff blood all over your hands, under your nails, stuck in your rings. Now if you put gloves on .. it would be more sanitary and less gross. Now your friend will be fine and you will be a clean hero.
Reusable Ice Pack
You can find these gel filled packs at almost any dollar store as well as pharmacies. Keep one or two in your freezer, they definitely will come in handy (especially for hangovers)
To help with the continuing healing of your injuries. Polysporin, Neosporin etc will work well.
All of this should ring in under $25 and should last you for quite a long time (unless youre super accident prone..) Just remember to check the expiry dates on the Hydrogen Peroxide and Antibiotic Ointment regularly.
Place your items in a labelled box or container and place in an easy to access place. Most people keep their First Aid supplies in the bathroom but the kitchen or linen closet would also work.
*Please note I am not a medical professional. If you believe your injuries to be severe or above what you can care for on your own seek professional medical attention. These recommendations are for minor injuries like scrapes, bumps, blisters etc.