In an emergency situation you may have to act quickly, so it’s important to know what is in your first aid kit and what to use for different injuries.
The first aid kits are usually in a green box or bag that’s marked with a white cross, and needs to be easily accessible so everyone knows where it is. You should also carry a first aid kit in your car.
The contents should be well organized and regularly checked to make sure that everything is in date. There should be no medication in the kit.
- Plasters: use plasters for small cuts and grazes.
- Sterile pad: helps with cushioning – you can use a sterile pad and hold it in place with sticky tape. If not available you can use any clean, non-fluffy material, like a cloth scarf.
- Sterile wound dressing: a sterile pad attached to a bandage. These are for larger wounds to apply pressure to help stop bleeding and are quick and easy to put on in an emergency.
- Roller bandages: long thin bandages and they come rolled up. Use a roller bandage to support joint injuries, hold dressings in place, put pressure on wounds to stop bleeding, and to reduce swelling
- Triangular bandages: large triangular shaped pieces of cloth. You can fold a triangular bandage to use as either a bandage or sling, or, if sterile, as a dressing for large wounds and burns. Our trainers tell us that this is one of the most useful items in the first aid kit. They can also be used to support bandages and much easier to secure on head, knee or elbow wounds.
- Disposable gloves: reduce the risk of infection between you and someone you’re helping. If they’re available, always wear gloves whenever you dress wounds or deal with any body fluids or waste
- Face shields or pocket masks: prevent infection when you are doing mouth to mouth resuscitation.
- Cleansing wipes, alcohol free wipes: to clean the skin around the wound
- Gauze pads as dressings: use as padding, or as swabs to clean around wounds
- Sticky tape (adhesive tape): to hold dressings in place or to hold the loose end of bandages. Also good when necessary to tape fingers and or toes together.
- Pins and clips: to fasten the loose end of bandages
- Scissors, shears and tweezers: to cut sterile pads, bandages or sticky tape to the right length. They need to be strong enough to cut through clothing if you need to get to a wound.
Useful items for outdoors
- a blanket to keep someone warm and protect them from the cold
- a survival bag to keep someone warm and dry in an emergency
- a torch for when it is dark and also good to attract attention and let people know where you are.
- a whistle to get help
For the car
- a warning triangle to put in the road so other drivers slow down
- a high visibility jacket so drivers can see you and reduce the risk of you getting hurt as well.
To purchase a Safe and Sound First Aid Kit go to: