How to Make the BEST First Aid Kit for College

 

It's inevitable. Your college kid is going to cut their finger, have a headache, or suffer some sort of GI issue at 2 o'clock in the morning. In their previous life, they ran to the family medicine cabinet for a bandage or medicine. But now what, get up and go to the pharmacy? Or have a well-stocked DIY Dorm First Aid Kit?

What makes this first aid kit the best for college? It is the best first aid kit because it is not so full of gauze and tape that they think they could bandage a severed limb, but has just the right amount of items to manage a small crisis. It is also very compact (a dorm room necessity) and  portable.

Read on for how to make your own.

Interested in what to do if your child has a medical emergency while at college? What to Do if Your College Student has a Medical Emergency

How to Make the Best First Aid Kit for College

 

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There are many commercially-available first aids kits out there, but most of them have the same problem – they are stuffed with a lifetime supply of bandages, but they don't have any of the over-the-counter medicines or other supplies needed for a splinter, headache, small cut, or gastro-intestinal issue. The best first aid kit (especially one for a college dorm room) should have just the amount of supplies needed for a very small crisis and not look like the one used at a camp site 5 miles on foot from help.

Because my kids are high school and college-aged, we know a LOT of high school graduates. I decided to put together these kits for the 19 seniors we gifted this year. It required several trips to different stores and searching online, but I found reasonably-priced and useful items for the kits.

Setting up to make the first batch of first aid kits

Items Needed for the Best First Aid Kit for College:

  • Container for the supplies: I found these containers at Target. They are 11″ x 6 5/8″ x 2 1/4″ and cost $2.99 each.
  • A collection of bandages and supplies for minor injuries. These Featherlite First Aid Kits are available at the Container Store. Each one contains: a first aid book, 2 Acetaminophen (Tylenol) tablets, 2 Antiobiotic ointment packets, 12 antiseptic towelettes, 2 aspirin tablets, 30 bandages in 4 sizes, 2 burn cream packets, 5 butterfly closures, 2 moleskin pads, and 3 sting relief pads. These supplies are enough to treat a minor cut, burn, or insect bite and take up very little room and fit inside the container. An extra kit for the car would be a good idea.
  • A thermometer. It does not have to be a thermometer worthy of their chemistry lab. An easy to use and inexpensive thermometer will help them answer the question, “Do you have fever?” when they call in the middle of the night saying they do not feel well.
  • Tweezers: For splinters
  • Cough Drops: when they can't stop coughing and need to sleep, take an exam, or are driving their roommate crazy.
  • A pain reliever: Acetaminophen and/or Ibuprofen

 

If you are making a kit for your own child, take the Tylenol and thermometer out of the boxes to free up more space. A few items you may consider adding are:

 

Immodium

Hydrocortisone cream

Antiobiotic ointment

Their prescription medications

 

Another item that should be in their possession is their health insurance card. They should keep it in their wallet for convenience or put it in their dorm room safe. The card is replaceable and most insurers have removed social security numbers as member identifiers on the cards, so a wallet is probably the superior location. It will save a lot of hassle at a clinic or pharmacy if it is readily available.

Getting a kiddo ready for college is hard work! Aside from remembering all the usual stuff like bedding and towels, a quality and useful first aid kit is a necessity. What do you think belongs in the Best First Aid Kit for College?

 

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