What should I keep in my first aid kit? It’s important to have a well-stocked first aid kit in your home so you can deal with minor accidents and injuries. Your first aid kit should be locked and kept in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children. Many people also keep a small first aid kit in their car for emergencies.
A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment that is used to give medical treatment. There is a wide variation in the contents of first aid kits based on the knowledge and experience of those putting it together, the differing first aid requirements of the area where it may be used, and variations in legislation or regulation in a given area.
The international standard for first aid kits is that they should be identified with the ISO graphical symbol for first aid (from ISO 7010) which is an equal white cross on a green background.
Your basic first aid kit
A basic first aid kit may contain:
- plasters in a variety of different sizes and shapes
- small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings
- at least 2 sterile eye dressings
- triangular bandages
- crêpe rolled bandages
- safety pins
- disposable sterile gloves
- alcohol-free cleansing wipes
- sticky tape
- thermometer (preferably digital)
- skin rash cream, such as hydrocortisone or calendula
- cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings
- antiseptic cream
- painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant paracetamol for children), aspirin (not to be given to children under 16), or ibuprofen
- antihistamine cream or tablets
- distilled water for cleaning wounds
- eye wash and eye bath
It may also be useful to keep a basic first aid manual or instruction booklet with your first aid kit.
Medicines should be checked regularly to make sure they’re within their use-by dates.
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