All you need to know about first aid kits

An organised and properly stocked first aid kit can give you peace of mind in a medical emergency. Being prepared could help you save a life.

Doing a first aid course is recommended to give you the knowledge and skills to provide capable first aid assistance.

Buying a first aid kit is a convenient option.

First aid kits are sold in different shapes and sizes and for different uses.

A basic first aid kit checklist

You can customise your first aid kit depending on the activities you do. A basic first aid kit checklist might include:

  • crepe bandages of varying widths
  • hypoallergenic (skin) tape
  • triangular bandages
  • adhesive dressing strips (such as bandaids) in different sizes
  • gauze swabs
  • combine dressing pads (10cm x 10cm)
  • non-stick dressing pads (7.5cm x 10cm)
  • sterile eye pad
  • alcohol swabs
  • stainless steel scissors (sharp/blunt) 12.5cm
  • disposable gloves
  • stainless steel pointed splinter forceps (tweezers)
  • shock (thermal) blanket
  • safety pins
  • notepad and permanent marker
  • sterile saline tubes/sachets
  • disposable resuscitation face shield
  • antiseptic skin swabs
  • stop itch cream
  • first aid booklet

How do I customise my kit?

Once you have assembled a basic first aid kit, you can customise it according to its intended use. For example, if it is:

  • For use at home — add extra items according to the number of people in your home and their age, such as thick crepe bandages if you have older children who play sport or for use as a pressure immobilisation bandage
  • For the car or caravan — add a highly reflective (day/night) safety triangle and vest as you may be near a road and traffic
  • For camping — add heavy crepe bandages, instant cold packs, disposable poncho, plastic bags, whistle, compass, torch and glow stick
  • For use on a boat — add a disposable poncho, plastic bags, whistle and glow stick. If you are boating in waters where marine stingers are present, include vinegar to pour over potential stings
  • For babies — add extra items such as a digital thermometer, basic pain reliever medications (such as paracetamol or ibuprofen) and plastic syringes for accurate dosing
  • For known medical conditions — add extra items, such as medicines and or equipment you normally use to manage the condition.

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