First aid

Having a first aid kit in your home will help you deal with minor accidents and injuries. It is important to keep it locked and kept in a cool, dry place that is out of the reach of children. It may also be worth keeping a first aid kit in your car for emergencies.

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.

NHS Choices has further information about first aid. This includes information about when to call the emergency services and first aid training courses.

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