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 reach of children.

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

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 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
  • antihistamine 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 are within their use-by dates.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 03/04/2013

Next review due: 03/04/2015