What to keep in a home First Aid Kit

Having the right equipment to help you and your family if they become hurt is really important.

How many times have you searched and searched your home for something, perhaps a set of keys, or fresh batteries for a remote, or your mobile phone…

Imagine now that the well being of a family member depends on you finding that certain something – imagine also if you don’t have the resources to help them, because you failed to prepare.

All this can be alleviated by simply having a good quality, fully stocked First Aid kit, and keeping it in the same accessible place, ready for an emergency. Perhaps you can keep it in the kitchen, under the stairs, or in the drawer of a phone table. By always having it accessible, it will be there when it’s needed.

Don’t forget to also check any expiry dates, and keep it up to date at all times!

A First Aid Kit could contain items relevant to the people it may treat. For example, if you have children, perhaps you may consider hypoallergenic plasters with cartoon characters on them. Generally however, all First Aid kits contain more or less the same items, so, if you’re in an office, or a train station, you’d expect to find the same materials, just different quantities.

What shouldn’t differ is the quality of the contents. It is possible to buy a £1 first aid kit from a pound store. This is unacceptable, the contents are not appropriate, insufficient, and very very low quality.

Some things to look for:

Box / Container / Bag
Whatever your first aid kit lives in, it should be appropriately marked. A box may be best suited for the home, and the car, but, if you’re out and about, going to the park perhaps, then a small first aid kit in a first aid pouch is going to be better. Consider also, if you’re out, whether the kit is likely to get wet. Some containers are waterproof, and designed for the ‘great outdoors’!

Triangular Bandages
Triangular bandages are great as slings. They can also be used as head bandages, socks, emergency diapers… and many other things! It’s important your triangular bandage is made of cotton as oppose to paper – for strength.

A dressing is a pad, with a bandage interwoven to it. A Dressing is designed to be applied directly onto a wound, and stop bleeding. The bandage secures the dressing in place, and applies a compression.

Plasters are small adhesive pads used for light bleeding from small cuts. They should be hypoallergenic.

A few pairs of gloves should be available. These also should be hypoallergenic (Nitrile or Vinyl).

Wound Wipes
These should be non alcoholic wipes, and are for cleaning up around a wound.

Isolade / Resusciaid / Mouth to Mouth Faceshield
This creates a barrier between you and a casualty if you need to do mouth to mouth.

Generally, first aid kits don’t have antiseptic creams, lotions, potions, or ointments in a workplace, however, for the home, if no one is allergic to the ingredients of these, you may keep them. Always ensure you check the use by date, and don’t think it will be ok to use it despite it’s decrepit age if it’s out of date!

It may also be a good idea to keep a first aid book in the kit, just as a reminder in an emergency.

Many other items can be used / improvised from around the home in an Emergency.

It is often best to buy an ‘off the shelf’ first aid kit, as available at retailers such as Boots, Halfords, and of course, here at Centric.

Would you know what to do, and how to treat and injured person? Even if you have previously attended a First Aid Course, it’s a good idea to keep up to date. Some courses are free – such as the British Heart Foundation Heartstart course, and others go into more depth on what to do in an emergency – such as: Emergency First Aid at Work (1 Day), and First Aid at Work (3 Days).