10 Basic First Aid Kit Essentials


According to the St John Ambulance Census (February 2014), only 38% of households have a first aid kit at home and of those, only 8% check the kit regularly to make sure items are there and in date. And did you know more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else?*


Are you a household which has a first aid kit?


If not, not to worry, first aid kits don’t have to be expensive. We’ve put together our guide for what you need in your kit.


10 Basic First Aid Kit Essentials


The First Aid Box

You can buy First Aid kits that come in a portable box with a green or even red case for easy visibility. However, there’s no law that says what kind of box you need to keep it in, so if this is for your home, then you can use any box. Some things you may want to think about:

  • Is it big enough?
  • Does it have a lid and is it waterproof so none of the items can be spoiled?
  • Is it easy to open in an emergency?


First Aid Basic Essentials

There are many items you can have in a First Aid box and some of them you’ll use a lot, and some of them, hardly at all. We’ve put together a list of the most commonly used and useful items. No, this won’t cover every first aid requirement, but it’s a good start and you’ll find that over time you’ll add to it.


Alcohol-free cleansing wipes – in a first aid situation, grazes and cuts will require cleansing.

Plasters –

Small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings – these are perfect for attending to wounds that require more than a plaster. They are also suitable for head wounds and can be secured with the rolled bandages.

Crepe rolled bandages – suitable for sprains and strains.

Disposable sterile gloves – for tending to wounds where there is risk of infection to both parties.

Scissors – having a dedicated pair of scissors will help ensure there’s always a pair of clean scissors available.

Tape – for securing bandages. You can also use safety pins but these can cause additional injury if not placed correctly.

Burns DressingEvery one and a half minute, someone in the UK suffers a burn or a scald. Whether or not hospital treatment is required, burns are extremely painful and whilst clingfilm can do the trick when you’ve got nothing else to hand, having proper burns dressings is essential. Usually containing a gel pad, these prevent oxygen getting to the wound, whilst at the same time keeping it cool and soothing the area.

Torch – useful for examining wounds more clearly and other areas of the body where light may be restricted.

First Aid Manual – regardless of whether you have first aid training or not, it is always useful to have a manual in your first aid box for people to refer to.



Where to keep it

According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, most accidents at home happen in the lounge or living room. Whilst it may seem logical therefore to keep it there, it doesn’t actually matter where it is, as long as it is stored in a cool, dry place, out of the reach of small children but easily accessible to adults. If this isn’t possible, make sure it’s locked, but keep the key to hand.


Upkeep of your first aid box

There are two things that you must do every 6 months:

  1. Check your first aid kit regularly to ensure items are in date and intact. Replace any items that are missing or have expired.
  2. Check that the flashlight works – if needed replace the batteries.  


If you want to buy a ready-made First Aid kit and are looking for one for the home, take a look at our selection.


* http://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/general/facts-and-figures/