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First Aid Kits

It is important to have a well-stocked first aid kit in your home to deal with minor accidents and injuries.

Your first aid kit should be locked and kept in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children.

Medicines should be checked regularly to make sure that they are within their use-by dates.

Many people also keep a small first aid kit in their car for emergencies.

Your basic first aid kit

A basic first aid kit should contain:

  • Plasters, in a variety of different sizes and shapes.
  • Small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings.
  • At least two sterile eye dressings.
  • Triangular bandages.
  • Crêpe rolled bandages.
  • Safety pins.
  • Disposable sterile gloves.
  • Tweezers.
  • Scissors.
  • 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.
  • Cough medicine.
  • Decongestant tablets or nasal spray.
  • Antihistamine tablets.
  • Distilled water, for cleaning wounds and as an eye bath.

For information about first aid when travelling see the Department of Health’s health advice for travellers.

Further information:

(NHS Choices first Aid kit tool: