Click2: First Aid Kit
First aid kit for the home
The following list can be used as a guide to what you should keep at home. The quantity of each is dependant on how many people there are in the household
- first aid manual
- individually-wrapped plasters in various sizes (fabric or waterproof)
- sterile dressings,
- adhesive tape, such as Micropore
- triangular bandages
- safety pins in a variety of sizes
- crępe bandages
- sterile non-fluffy, absorbent gauze
- round-ended scissors (for cutting tape or bandages)
- vinyl gloves
- antiseptic wipes (alcohol free)
- notepad and pencil
- eyewash solution
- a thermometer (digital one)
Containers for first aid kits
Keep your first aid items in a waterproof container large enough for the contents to be arranged so that items can be found quickly when needed. A plastic container with a closely fitting lid is suitable.
The standard container is a for a first aid box with a green background with a white cross.
There are many ready made kits available that you can buy from a pharmacy or you can make a kit yourself, selecting the contents that you need. If there is room in these kits you can add additional items that you think you may need.
Storing your first aid kit
It makes sense to keep your first aid kit near to where it's most likely to be needed. It should be out of reach of children, but still readily accessible. Keep in a cool and dry place. Avoid bathrooms and kitchens as the humidity and temperature changes can affect the contents of the first aid
Using your first aid kit
All members of the household (adults) should ensure they are familiar with their first kit and where it is located. The first aid instructions should be kept with the kit.
Check expiry dates on a regular basis and replace any out-of date items immediately. Once you use an item replace it as soon as possible so the kit is fully stocked for next time
It is well worth getting professional first aid training as you never know when it may come in handy.
There are some medicines that can be useful to keep at home in case of minor accidents. You should keep these medicines in a separate locked medicines cabinet, out of reach and sight of children. The medicines include:
- antihistamine cream for insect bites (but not for use on broken or infected skin)
- paracetamol and ibuprofen for pain relief (tablets for adults, liquid for children)
- antihistamine tablets such as chlorpheniramine (e.g. Piriton), for allergic reactions
- Calamine Lotion, for the relief of itch from sunburn or rash from insects/plants.
- Antiseptic solution such as TCP/Betadine. Helps to clean a wound of bacteria.
You should always follow the instructions in the patient information leaflet that comes with the medicines. Ask your pharmacist if you need advice.
It's a good idea to be trained in first aid. In the UK, courses are provided by organisations like the St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross.
St John Ambulance
08700 10 49 50
British Red Cross
0870 170 7000