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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.

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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.

Find more ways of managing your own health on our website.

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A - Z of health conditions

NHS Data