A well-stocked first-aid kit that you rarely use while you’re at college is a whole lot better than no kit when you need it most. Chances are you’ll only have to fill the kit completely once with the main supplies and only replenish when you use something or need to replace expired items. Having these items handy in your dorm is more convenient than hunting down someone with supplies in the middle of the night to remove a nasty sliver or patch up a cut.


You will need to choose a container to hold all of your first-aid items. The American Red Cross at UCLA suggests a sturdy, easy-to-carry container, such as a small backpack or lunch tote. A small plastic tub with a lid works, too. Since the items are for one person and dorm rooms have limited space, the container doesn’t have to be big to hold all of your stuff. You can place the items in resealable plastic bags inside the backpack to keep them more contained and protected.


No first-aid kit is complete without bandages. You should have adhesive cloth tape, at least two absorbent compress dressings and several assorted sizes of adhesive bandages. You will also want to throw in a 3-inch roller bandage, 4-inch roller bandage, a few gauze bandages and a couple triangle bandages. Because bandages are one of the most frequently used first-aid items, replenish them often.

Medications and Ointments

Put some medications and ointments in your first-aid kit. Five antibiotic ointment packets, five antiseptic wipe packets, a couple packets of aspirin and two hydrocortisone ointment packets are a good start. A roll or two of antacids, eye drops and a small package of cough drops can also come in handy while you’re at school.

Other Items

According to the Red Cross, you should also include a space blanket, a one-way valve breathing barrier, one cold compress, two pairs of nonlatex gloves, a small scissors, tweezers and a first-aid instruction booklet in your kit. A small flashlight with extra batteries and a nonmercury, nonglass oral thermometer is also needed. To complete the kit, have your emergency contact numbers written on a card and placed in an easy-to-find area of the kit.

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