How to Build a First Aid Kit for College

By Kirsten Licht, MS, health promotions analyst

Heading to college is all about learning and preparing for your future. This includes being prepared with a first aid kit!

There are a variety of already assembled first aid kits you can purchase at your local drug store, but you can also easily put one together yourself using a sturdy box with a lid — plastic is preferable.

Your kit should include:

  • Alcohol pads
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Bandages – a variety of sizes and colors
  • First aid tape
  • Gauze pads
  • Ice pack
  • Oral thermometer
  • Over the counter medication:
    • Anti-diarrhea medication
    • Antacids
    • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen for aches and fever
    • Anything else you regularly use at home
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Warm pack or heating pad

Once cold and flu season arrives, you should expand your kit with these items:

  • Chapstick
  • Cold medicine
  • Cough medicine
  • Cough drops and sore throat lozenges
  • Soup and tea
  • Tissues
  • Vicks VapoRub

Don’t forget these essentials during the spring and summer:

  • 1% hydrocortisone cream
  • Allergy medication
  • Aloe lotion for sunburns
  • Calamine lotion
  • Sunscreen

It’s a good idea to keep important medical information nearby in case of an emergency, such as:

  • Allergy information
  • Blood type
  • Chronic health information if applicable
  • Contact information for your family doctor
  • Contact information for the University Health Center
    • 1500 U Street, Lincoln, NE 68588-0618
    • 402.472.5000
  • Emergency contact information
  • Medications taken on a regular basics
  • Your insurance card and a copy to keep in your first aid kit

Lastly, be prepared by talking to your relatives about your family medical history before you come to campus. This information is helpful for medical appointments and emergencies.

If you forget or run out of an item in your first aid kit, the University Health Center pharmacy can help. We offer many of these first aid kit essentials, many for less than $5.




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