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Keeping a First Aid Kit at Home: Everything You Need to Know

Keeping a First Aid Kit at Home: Everything You Need to Know

Our homes are where we spend most of our time. They’re where we prepare our food, play with our children, exercise, relax, host guests, and sometimes decide to take on ambitious DIY home improvement projects! With the huge range of activities that take place in our homes every day, accidents can and do happen, often when we least expect them. Keeping a well-stocked first aid kit at home is essential.


We cover what to have in your home first aid kit and why, as well as where to keep first aid kit at home.

family at home around a kitchen

What Accidents Can Happen in the Home?

According to the Royal Society for Prevention of Injuries (ROSPA), we are statistically more likely to injure ourselves in our own homes than at work. This means that we need to manage our domestic health and safety practices to keep everyone safe and know what to have in a home first aid kit. It’s important to shop around for the best first aid kits and know everything that should be on your home first aid kit list.

Depending on your lifestyle and the people you share your home with, some accidents leading to injury are more likely than others. This is why it’s essential to be prepared and have a good idea of what should be in a first aid kit at home, so you’ve got everything you need in an emergency.


Have a read through the most common accidents and injuries that happen in the home in this article. It’ll provide a helpful insight into what basic home first aid kit contents you need the most.

Kettle boiling and steaming

Burns and Scalds

Burns and scalds can be caused by a wide range of activities and items in the home and can often be serious. The most common domestic burn hazards include kettles, pans, ovens and cooking ranges, with the kitchen being the most dangerous area where the risk of burns is high. Other hazards to take special care with include hair straighteners, matches and radiators.

Treating a burn is time-critical, so having access to good burncare products that will cool down and soothe a wound quickly is vital. Depending on the size, severity, and depth of a home burn injury, you might need to seek professional medical attention as soon as possible to manage the impact of the damage and promote fast healing. 

 

All burn injuries should be taken seriously. The first step is to cool the wound area under cold running water for as long as possible to dissipate heat from the skin and tissue beneath. Take time to carefully inspect the burnt area, removing any clothes or items covering the area unless they are firmly stuck onto the burn wound. 


Make use of your home first aid kit contents, wearing disposable gloves to reduce the risk of infection and, once cooled, clean the burnt area gently with sterile saline wipes. Apply a burn dressing and burn hydrogel if you have one. If this isn’t available, protect the area with an  adhesive wound dressing or an absorbent dressing secured with microporous tape that’s easy to remove so you can continue to monitor the injury regularly.

domestic staircase

Slips, Trips, Falls, and Falling Objects

Falls, usually caused by trips or slips in the home, are the most common domestic accidents and can cause serious injury at any time of life, but the risk increases with age. The same goes for injuries caused by objects falling from a height.

Suffering a sudden fall or being struck from above by a falling object can lead to injuries, including bruises, sprains, and even fractured or broken bones. The most common places where serious falls occur are staircases and sets of steps used to enter and exit the home, although trips over dangling wires, poorly placed furniture or discarded toys can lead to equally as serious injuries from falling suddenly. Wet and slippy hard floors also commonly lead to injury. Maintain clear walkways and clean up spilt liquids to reduce the risk of slips and trips. 

Reaching above your head to pull something down also presents a risk, be cautious and make sure to store high-up items as securely as possible to reduce the risk of falling objects.

Having access to basic home first aid kit contents will enable you to treat several injuries caused by sudden impact. Soothe a twisted ankle or banged knee with an instant ice pack to reduce swelling and increase mobility in the injured area; use a triangular bandage to create a sling to support an injured arm; and washproof sterile plasters are ideal for covering and protecting small grazes and cuts. 

Where a fall or falling object has caused an impact with the head, there is always the risk of a concussion. Continuously monitor anyone with a head injury, making sure to look out for dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Where an injury sustained by a fall is serious, call 999 or seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Man doing DIY in home

Cuts, Lacerations, and Wounds

Cuts, lacerations and wounds sustained in the home can be caused by a huge range of hazards. Some of the most common domestic items that present danger are kitchen knives, cooking appliances such as blenders, sharp objects, DIY tools, scissors, and broken glass. Even regular table cutlery can cause injury, especially among children.

Whether minor or severe and deep, any instance where the skin has been punctured will require first aid treatment. Make sure to apply firm continuous pressure over any cut that is bleeding. Use your home first aid kit contents to treat a wound as soon as possible. Minor cuts can usually be treated easily with washproof sterile plasters and will heal naturally. Deeper, larger wounds should be cleaned with sterile saline wipes, and any dirt or grit around the edges should be removed carefully with a pair of tweezers. Never put tweezers directly into the wound area, as it could cause more damage. Cover the cleaned wound area with an adhesive wound dressing. Where there is a lot of blood, use an absorbent dressing secured in place with a conforming bandage or microporous tape

In cases where the wound is deep, large and severe, or where the bleeding won’t stop, apply continuous pressure and seek professional medical attention as soon as possible. Where a casualty has suffered a lot of blood loss, manage the risk of serious shock symptoms by wrapping them in a foil blanket to help retain body heat.

Ambulance driving on road

Why is a Home First Aid Kit Important?

So why is a first aid kit needed at home? Understanding the hazards and risk of injury in the home is essential. Effective and timely first aid treatment at home can significantly decrease the risk of serious injury or illness while waiting for emergency services to arrive. Knowing what should be in a home first aid kit and keeping your first aid equipment stocked up will increase the likelihood of a quick recovery and could even mean that no professional medical attention is required at all. 

Where injuries are severe, and the casualty is losing a lot of blood, using your home first aid kit contents can help to save a life, keeping your patient as stable as possible before an ambulance arrives.

In the UK, the NHS Ambulance Service has set time standards for how long an ambulance should take to arrive at the scene of a 999 call-out. They split the different types of call-outs into categories to help manage resources and prioritise the most serious and time-critical medical emergencies: 

  • Category 1 covers life-threatening injuries and illnesses such as cardiac arrest and severe allergic reaction with an average response time of 7 minutes. 
  • Category 2 is for emergency calls including strokes, cuts, and severe burns. Ideally, these will be responded to in an average time of 18 minutes.
  • Category 3 is for urgent calls such as late stages of labour and non-severe burns. In some of these instances, the casualty may be treated by ambulance staff in their own home. These types of calls will be responded to at least 9 out of 10 times before 120 minutes.
  • Category 4 is for less urgent calls regarding symptoms like diarrhoea or vomiting. In some instances advice will be given over the telephone or referred to another service such as a GP or pharmacist. These less urgent calls will be responded to at least 9 out of 10 times before 180 minutes. 

Despite these time scales being the intended standard, the NHS has not always been able to meet these targets consistently. Since 2019 emergency response times have increased on average, meaning more people have to wait longer for emergency medical assistance. In December 2021, the average response time for category 2 emergencies was 53 minutes 21 seconds—almost three times the 18 minutes target. 

Emergency paramedics treating patient at home

In addition to the increased average time it can take ambulances to attend the site of a medical emergency, the amount of time you could be waiting for treatment in UK hospitals and A&E has seen a significant increase in recent years, in part due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the reduction in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations, long delays in emergency care are still common, meaning you could be waiting several hours to receive medical attention. Having access to good first aid supplies at home could make long waits in A&E much more comfortable and improve your recovery.

Knowing what to put in home first aid kits and how to use the different equipment is even more important. Providing good first aid treatment in a medical emergency at home while waiting for paramedics can make a huge difference to recovery and survival rates, especially when it’s never possible to accurately predict ambulance call-out times.

Your Home First Aid Kit Contents List

Read through these essential medium first aid kit contents items so you know exactly what should be in a first aid kit for home emergencies.

Bandages

Bandages are a versatile piece of first aid equipment suited to treat a range of injuries in the home. Our 70-piece first aid kit contains a choice between conforming bandages and triangular bandages, so you have everything you need in your home first aid kit contents.

Use a stretchy, lightweight conforming bandage to cover dressings to secure them in place. Choose the right size to pull easily over different body parts, including children. You could also gently support wrist or ankle joints that still require mobility and breathability.

Non-triangular bandages are most commonly used as a sling for an injured limb or to secure a splint safely, even when the casualty is moving around.

Instant Icepacks

Cold treatment can be hugely effective in managing swelling or muscle pain caused by a slip or trip, impact with a falling object or an instance where an area is swollen and painful.

Make sure your home first aid kit contents include an instant icepack to help reduce swelling, minimise pain symptoms, and even reduce the cell damage in the affected area. Access to a freezer isn’t always possible, so our 70-piece first aid kit contains an endothermic instant ice pack that cools immediately when shaken and squeezed.

Alcohol-Free Wipes

Safely clean cuts and wounds to reduce infection using sterile disposable wipes that are gentle on the skin. They’re a must-have in your home first aid kit list, and our 70-piece first aid kit contains a sturdy sterile container of alcohol-free wipes for easy use.

Washproof Plasters 

Access to hypoallergenic plasters is essential to treat small cuts or abrasions that aren’t large enough to require a wound dressing. Our 70-piece first aid kit contains a choice of plasters that are washproof and come in various shapes and sizes to create a comfortable protective barrier over an open wound.

Disposable Gloves (in pairs)

When providing any first aid care, it’s essential that you create a barrier between you and the casualty’s bodily fluids to protect against infection. Always put on a pair of clean disposable gloves when tending to a suspected wound, even where you think just a plaster is necessary. The nitrile gloves in our 70-piece first aid kit are designed to be puncture-proof to offer increased protection and durability, so they are the perfect items for home first aid kit supplies.

Safety Pins

Secure bandages and dressings in place with ease. Safety pins are quick to remove when you need to assess an injury and are safe to reuse as long as they’re clean. Our 70-piece first aid kit contains 12 safety pins. 

Microporous Tape

Use hypoallergenic microporous tape to secure bandages, dressings, and splints quickly and easily. It’s non-irritant, adheres easily to skin or material, and doesn’t hurt or leave a residue when removed. Our 70-piece first aid kit contains one roll. 

Wound Dressings

Wound dressings allow the body to focus on healing while protecting the wound area from being knocked or rubbed while the injury heals. Dressings are an essential part of your home first aid kit contents to protect wounds from further damage, keeping them in a clean environment and minimising bacterial contamination.

Use an adhesive wound dressing to quickly secure protection over a wound too large to be covered by a plaster. Its adhesive edge allows it to remain in place without a bandage or tape for quick, easy wound dressing.

Choose low-adherent sterile wound dressings to protect wounds that are secreting blood or fluid. These highly absorbent dressing pads are designed to soak up bodily fluids efficiently and provide a padded layer to protect a wound area, aiding the healing process.

Our 70-piece first aid kit contains a choice of these dressings, as well as two specially designed sterile eyepad dressings for treating eye injuries.

Adult man cutting color tape, colored ribbons on the table

Scissors and Tweezers

Having the right tools in your home first aid kit list to provide safe and effective first aid treatment quickly is essential. Our 70-piece first aid kit contains a pair of blunt-ended scissors and a pair of medical-grade tweezers that are easy to use and very versatile.

Use blunt-ended scissors to cut bandages, tape, and even clothing without risking puncturing the casualty’s skin.

Use tweezers to remove foreign particles from a wound area carefully. Aim to remove debris but never insert them into the wound. It’s essential that you remove all debris and clean a wound properly before dressing it. This will improve healing while reducing the risk of infection. 

Foil Blanket

Foil blankets are a must-have in your home first aid kit contents, especially when weather conditions are poor, reducing heat loss by up to 90%. Wrap them around a casualty to manage shock symptoms. When someone has suffered a fall, collision, or is bleeding heavily, protecting them from exposure and keeping them warm will help speed up their recovery. Foil blankets should be coated on both sides. Our 70-piece first aid kit contains one medical-grade foil blanket ready for emergency use.

Home First Aid Kit Checklist

Now you can answer the question what should you have in a home first aid kit, use our handy home first aid kit checklist to check through your first aid supplies and make sure you’ve got everything you need.


Your home first aid kit checklist pdf:

Which First Aid Kit Should you Choose?

So, what is the best first aid kit for home use? Our 70 Piece First Aid Kit is well-suited for home first aid provisions. However, you should evaluate your unique risks and first aid needs. Depending on your lifestyle and environment, you could require a more specialised first aid kit at home or at work. Steroplast offers a wide range of first aid kits to meet all your individual needs:

Vehicle First Aid Kit

A compact and lightweight first aid kit specially designed to be kept in your car in case of an emergency on the road. Make sure you’re prepared to treat road casualties, including yourself, as soon as possible while waiting for the emergency services to arrive. Find more information about vehicle first aid kits in our blog.

70 Piece First Aid Kit

A larger, more comprehensive first aid kit for general use provides more equipment choice and larger quantities of essential first aid products. Well suited to larger homes or offices where more people are at risk of injury.

Steroburn Burncare First Aid Kit

Specifically designed for environments where the risk of burns or scalds is high or frequent. Contents include leading brand Burnshield products, including cooling hydrogel dressings and additional hydrogel sprays to treat time-critical burn wounds as quickly and effectively as possible.

We cover essential information about how to use a burn first aid kit and burn kit contents on our blog.

Childcare First Aid Kit

A first aid kit dedicated to babies, children, and minors’ first aid needs. The ideal piece of equipment to keep on hand in schools, nurseries, childcare businesses, and at home.

Sterowash Eyecare Kit

Workplaces such as warehouses, factories, laboratories, or industrial kitchens, where there is the risk of eye injury, should consider supplying their staff with a dedicated eye care kit to manage eye injuries as quickly as possible. Find out more about eye injury first aid on our blog.

Sports Medical First Aid Kit

An essential piece of kit for anywhere sporting activities occur. With contents intended to treat and manage the most common and often severe sports injuries, including sprains, muscle damage and other common overuse injuries.

Stero-paws Animal First Aid Kit

Your beloved pets can injure themselves at home or out and about! This kit contains everything you need to take care of your furry friends before you get a chance to make it to the vet. Learn more about pet first aid on our blog.

Where to Store Your Home First Aid Kit

Know you know what to put in a home first aid kit and the best ones to choose from, keeping your home first aid kit contents in a safe, dry, and easily accessible place is vital. 

In most homes, the most hazardous place will be the kitchen, so consider keeping your home first aid kit in a kitchen cupboard, making sure it can’t be reached by small children. 

Other good places to keep your home first aid kit could be under the stairs, in a family bathroom, or even the living room. The most important thing is that it is easy to reach, everyone knows where it is, and it is well-stocked with all your essential home first aid kit contents, ready for an emergency.

Please enter your details into the form below along with any questions or comments and a member of our team will be happy to provide you with more information:

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