How to use your first aid kit
In an emergency situation you may have to act quickly, so it’s
important to be familiar with your first aid kit and know what to
use for different injuries.
All workplaces, leisure centres, homes and cars should have a
first aid kit. They are usually in a green or red box or bag that’s
marked with a white cross, and should be easy to find.
Watch our video - how to use your first aid kit
Below are the basic contents of a first aid kit, with
explanations of what to use when.
Sterile dressings and plasters:
• Plasters: Use plasters for small cuts
• Sterile pad: For more cushioning you can
use a sterile pad and hold it in place with sticky tape. You could
also use any clean, non-fluffy material, like a cloth scarf.
• Sterile wound dressing: A sterile wound
dressing is a sterile pad attached to a bandage. These are for
larger wounds to apply pressure to help stop bleeding and are quick
and easy to put on in an emergency.
• Roller bandages: Roller bandages are
long thin bandages rolled up. Use a roller bandage to support joint
injuries, hold dressings in place, put pressure on wounds to stop
bleeding, and to reduce swelling
• Triangular bandages: Triangular bandages
are large triangular shaped pieces of cloth. You can fold a
triangular bandage to use as either a bandage or sling, or, if
sterile, as a dressing for large wounds and burns.
• Disposable gloves: Using disposable
gloves reduces the risk of infection between you and someone you’re
helping. If they’re available, always wear gloves whenever you
dress wounds or deal with any body fluids or waste
• Face shields or pocket masks: These are
designed to prevent infection when you give rescue breaths.
• Cleansing wipes, alcohol free wipes: To
clean the skin around the wound
• Gauze pads as dressings: To use as
padding, or as swabs to clean around wounds
• Sticky tape (adhesive tape): To hold
dressings in place or to hold the loose end of bandages
• Pins and clips: To fasten the loose end
• Scissors, shears and tweezers: To cut
sterile pads, bandages or sticky tape to the right length. You can
also use them if you need to cut someone’s clothing, so that you
can get to a wound, for example.
• Use kitchen film or clean plastic bags:
To dress burns and scalds
• Use alcohol gel: To clean your hands if
you can’t find any water to use
• Use a blanket: To keep someone warm and
protect them from the cold
• Use survival bags: To keep someone warm
and dry in an emergency
• Use a torch: To help you see when it
gets dark and to attract attention or make others aware that you’re
• Use a whistle: To help attract attention
and get help
For the car, in case of road accidents:
• Warning triangle: Put this on the road
to warn other drivers to slow down
• Wear a high visibility jacket: To make
sure drivers can see you and reduce the risk of you getting hurt as