Red First Aid Kit with scissors, tweezers, medication and bandages

First Aid Kit Essentials

First aid kits are essential whether you’re at home, in the workplace or out and about. You never know when you might find yourself in a situation that requires first aid.

First Aid Kit Essentials

10 August 2023

First aid kits are essential whether you’re at home, in the workplace or out and about. You never know when you might find yourself in a situation that requires first aid.

Your first aid kit should always be kept safely in an easily accessible location for an emergency, but be mindful of young children and make sure it is kept safely out of their reach.

It’s also important to ensure your first aid kit is properly stocked with all the essentials. It can be easy to use up the contents over time, so put a regular date in your calendar to check your first aid kit to ensure it is always ready for use.

The contents of your first aid kit may differ depending on the location. For example, if there are children around, you may need smaller plasters and child-friendly medication. First aid kits should be stored in a cupboard, away from the reach of young children but still easily accessible in the event of an emergency.

All British-Standards compliant first aid kits are green with a large white cross for clear visibility. You may also see a red first aid kit, but these are primarily burn kits.

What Should Be In A First Aid Kit

Bandages & Plasters

  • Plasters in an array of shapes and sizes
  • Sterile gauze dressings
  • Triangular bandages
  • Eye dressings

Bandages and plasters protect the wounded area, create pressure and prevent infections and dirt from entering the area. There are several different bandages and plasters in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is important to have an assortment of options in your kit, depending on the size and location of the injury.

Two runners one with a bandage on his leg.

Creams & Sprays

  • Antiseptic cream
  • Hydrocortisone rash cream
  • Bite and sting cream or spray

It may be necessary to apply a cream or spray to the wound to help promote healing and protect against infections. The correct cream or spray will depend on the injury, and it is best to ensure you have all varieties in your first aid kit.


  • Painkillers for adults and children
  • Antihistamine tablets

These medications can provide relief for minor aches and pains. It is important to ask the patient before offering medication and ensure they have the correct medication and dose for their age. You should also be aware of any allergies the patient may have.

Additional Items

  • Eyewash
  • Thermometer
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cleansing wipes & distilled water
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Disposable sterile gloves
  • Safety pins
  • Face shield or pocket mask

These additional items provide extra support; whether it is cutting the bandage with scissors, cleaning the wound with cleansing wipes and distilled water, or protecting your own health as the first aider with gloves and a face shield.

Additional first aid kit essentials including gloves, gauze, face mask and scissors

It is important to familiarise yourself with your first aid kit essentials so you can correctly and safely provide first aid. Remember to maintain your first aid kit so it contains all the necessities and ensure it is regularly checked to make sure everything is there and within their use-by date.

At the Army Cadets, we understand the importance of keeping our cadets safe; which is why we offer all our cadets and adult volunteers the opportunity to undertake an adult first aid in the workplace qualification. You can discover more information on how to become a Cadet or Adult Volunteer and learn vital life skills within our programme. Part of our syllabus also includes a dedicated first aid qualification.

These first aid kit essentials have come at the recommendation of the NHS. More information can be found here.