First Aid Kit Essentials CHECKLIST

Band-aids… Check!
Bandages… Check!
Antiseptic… Check!

These first aid kit basics are a great starting point for minor bumps and scrapes.
However, the purpose of your kit is to be prepared for ANY type of emergency – BIG or small.
Buying a first aid kit off the shelf takes some of the guess work out of kit preparation – but you need to remember that you can always add or remove items – After-all, your first aid kit needs to be suited to meet YOUR needs.

Here's some things you might not have thought about including in your first aid kit...

If you have young children, consider adding in things like bright, noisy toys to help you distract your little patient. Note: It’s important that these toys are exclusively for the kit so they remain a novelty when you bring them out to administer first aid.

How about an egg timer? Cooperation can be tricky when little ones don’t quite understand what’s going on. Let them know you will apply that ice-pack until they hear the beep. By giving them an end time to work with you are creating some structure and certainty amongst the chaos. Watching an egg timer and waiting for it to go off might also serve as a bit of a distraction from their injury.

  • Freezing spray for tick removal, e.g. Wartoff
  • A light stick – for use in the dark or to attract attention
  • Vomit bags (great to keep in the car)
  • Zip-lock plastic bags – for amputated parts
  • Splinter probes & Tweezers – to make removal of splinters easier
  • A CPR & First Aid guide
  • A digital thermometer (underarm is good for small children)
  • A thermal rescue blanket – to keep an injured person warm (it’s also great for containing messy, bodily fluids and protecting your car seats!)

What medications should I have in my first aid kit?

  • Oral rehydration / electrolyte solution, e.g. Hydralyte
  • Age-appropriate pain relief such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Antihistamine (consider non-drowsy options for workplace first aid kits)
  • Antiseptic cream of your choice
  • Anti-itch cream of your choice
  • Burns Gel of your choice
  • Salbutamol inhaler (bluish grey puffer) – for asthma
  • Epinephrine, e.g. Epi-pen – to treat anaphylaxis
  • Aspirin – for management of chest pain

Remember to check the expiry dates regularly!

What to have in a first aid kit?

  • Bandaids in assorted shapes – minor bleeding wounds
  • Sterile Gauze Swabs – for wound cleaning
  • Eye Pad – for eye injuries such as cuts
  • Bandages (different sizes, e.g. fingers, ankles) – to reduce swelling and provide support
  • Non-stick dressing – for grazes and/or minor burns
  • Combine Wound Dressing – to apply pressure to large bleeding wounds
  • Heavyweight / pressure bandages for snake and funnel-web spider bites
  • Saline – for rinsing eyes and cleaning wounds
  • Gloves
  • CPR Face Shield
  • Sling (at least 2x) – good for body splinting and supporting injured limbs
  • Adhesive Tape – to keep dressings in place and hold bandages together
  • Scissors
  • Cold pack – keep in the fridge or freezer for bruising & swelling


Where to keep a first aid kit

First aid kits should be kept in an easily accessible and visible location.

Consider what is in your kit, and where you are most likely to need it most.
Common places to keep a first aid kit include the kitchen, bathroom, car, or a backpack.
You should store your first aid in a cool, dry location, out of reach of small children.

Certain medications such as Epi-pens should be stored at room temperature between
15*C – 25*C as they can degrade quickly when exposed to high temperatures or excessive light which may reduce their effectiveness. Do be mindful of the extremely high temperatures reached when storing medications in a car during an Australian summer.

Having a well-stocked first aid kit can make a significant difference when responding to an emergency – It’s always better to be prepared!

Find out which first aid kit might be best for you here

Alicia White
Alicia White

Registered Paramedic - Perth, W.A.