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A Brief Description of a First Aid Kit Checklist

Upon searching for my first aid kit, I wanted a good checklist for first aid kits that ensured I had everything sufficient should an emergency strike. Whether purchasing or building a kit, in this article we take a look at everything to include inside!

What should be in a first aid checklist in 2022?

Short answer: a basic first aid kit should include an essential list of items. These are overall inclusions: designed to help you in any emergency. The list is outlined below. 

  • Although a basic kit will allow you to treat general medical scenarios, you can also add in your own inclusions to the kit - and personalise it depending on the situation. 
  • For your home, workplace or certain activities such as hiking there will be a few further requirements alongside the main checklist for first aid kits. A separate checklist for these is outlined.
  • A proper basic first aid kit is crucial as a bare minimum. If you are caught in an emergency, they can prove life saving.
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The First Aid Checklist Format 

There is a set of items required in a checklist for first aid kits. 

Firstly, let’s talk about some of the general characteristics of both the first aid kit and contents: 

  • Depending on the setting which you desire to use your kit, the items best included for the situation may vary. 
  • Sizes may also vary. However, it is important to ensure the kit has sufficient room to store all the items. 
  • There should also be a little extra space (such as a slip, or mesh pocket) for you to add your own customised inclusions. 

  • Your kit should be easy to notice/locate.
  • Therefore, often they will have eye-catching/easily noticeable colours - or a symbol such as a white cross against a green background. 

  • Lastly, the material of a first aid kit can be crucial. Packaging should be sturdy and lightweight. 
  • They should be durable, resistant to dust and moisture (some kits are waterproof, depending) and still as compact/lightweight as possible. 

Generally, the minimum checklist for a basic first aid kit includes:

  • A booklet/set of instructions that includes information on basic and essential first aid practices: for example CPR
  • A content list will likely be included - showing what is in your kit
  • A notebook with a pen/marker
  • A CPR face shield/resuscitation mask 
  • Roughly 5 or more pairs of gloves - disposable/one use (such as latex)
  • Saline solution: at least one bottle
  • A pack of alcohol or cleansing/antiseptic wipes 
  • A pair of tweezers 
  • Emergency blanket: for hypothermia or shock 
  • Splinter probes (kits should ideally have both tweezers and probes) 
  • Scissors/shears of some kind 
  • Triangular bandages 
  • Dressing pads - to cover wounds
  • Adhesive dressing bandages - such as band-aids.  
  • Hypoallergenic skin tape (roll size varies) 
  • Crepe/elastic bandages - different sizes
  • Gauze swabs - sterile (may be individually wrapped or different sizes)
  • Safety pins pack 
  • Itching cream/antiseptic or antibiotic ointment also may be included 
  • Instant ice/cold pack. 

This is the basic format a checklist for a first aid kit should follow, however there is also a degree of personalisation that is included.

There are many other good items to add to your kit.

Depending on your situation, you may want to customise and add more in.

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The First Aid Checklist For Home 

A home first aid kit will have many similar inclusions/additions - alongside the main checklist for first aid kits.

Note: a home kit will often need to cater to multiple people, so ensure there are sufficient supplies for all the house participants - at least for disposable items.

It would be horrible to have an incident occur and only have bandages for one person!

Checklist for home first aid kits: 

  • Adhesive bandages/band-aids: particularly important for children (colourful is a fun bonus!).
  • There should also be a little extra space (such as a slip, or mesh pocket) for you to add your own customised inclusions. 

  • Wound dressings/covers 
  • Do use the adhesive bandages for this - instead you will require dressing pads or wound pads to cover the wound properly and control bleeding.

    These are available in multiple sizes, so you should have something to cut the pads with (outlined below) and different sizes for the wound areas.

  • Crepe/elasticised bandages 
  • Crepe bandages hold tightly in order to prevent excess bleeding of your wound. They are also good for injury support. 

  • Non elastic bandages 
  • You will require non elastic bandages too - good for slings, splints and immobilisation use. 

  • Disposable gloves 
  • Alcohol/antiseptic swabs
  • For cleaning the skin and keeping it clean before treating. 

  • Scissors and/or shears 
  • It is a good idea to have both on hand.

  • Tweezers (and a splinter probe ideally) 
  • Saline solution 
  • Burn aid cream/ointment or hydrogel sachets
  • Make sure you have enough packets to cover multiple people. 

  • Hypoallergenic adhesive skin tape 
  • One roll minimum. Necessary to secure dressings/bandages. 

  • Emergency blanket
  • Notepad and marker 
  • Ice/cold pack - can be desirable (if not already on hand) 
  • Medications

For a home first aid kit, there are a variety of medications you may want to include in order to minimise discomfort/pain and promote healing. 

These include:
Painkillers for both adults/kids (e.g paracetamol), anti-itching cream if desired - and a thermometer can also be a good addition to consider.

*You might also want to add some syringes/measuring equipment for child dosages.

The First Aid Checklist For Hiking 

When hiking, proper equipment in case of an accident is crucial.

You are facing numerous nature oriented risks in this circumstance: e.g snake bites.

Checklist for hiking first aid kits: 

  • Firstly, something to carry your kit (e.g a pouch) is optional but may be desirable. 
  • First aid manual/booklet 
  • Pressure bandages (to immobilise) 
  • Compression bandages/snake bite bandages - can include a variety (for snake bites)
  • Triangular bandages 
  • Regular roller bandages 
  • Gauze pads (sterile) for wounds 
  • Insect bites ointment - good to prevent itchiness! 
  • Antiseptic ointment/cream (e.g betadine) 
  • Bandaids (a solid pack - assorted is a good option) 
  • Saline solution 
  • Medications: this should ideally include the below. You should add them if not. 
  • Painkillers: e.g Ibuprofen/Panadol
     
    Antihistamines: for allergies e.g Benadryl.

    Diarrhoea medication: e.g Loperamide

    Laxatives: for constipation

    *Anaphylactic medication is also advisable if applicable.

  • Tweezers/splinter probes
  • CPR face shield 
  • Small scissors  
  • Notebook + marker 
  • Emergency contact card (good inclusion)
  • Safety pins 
  • Crepe bandages

The Risks Associated With an Incomplete First Aid Checklist 

The checklist for first aid kits discussed in this article covers the list of bare minimum inclusions for a main kit.

It is absolutely essential to have a first aid kit on hand.

There are a number of both mild and severe general emergencies that can occur at any point - from at home to outdoors.

Kit items like a CPR shield and wound bandages can be crucial and even life saving in an incident.

Some of the many risks include: 

  • Breathing/medical emergencies (requiring proper resuscitation equipment). 
  • Inability to bandage a wound/injury properly: most importantly bleeding AND infection prevention.  
  • Lack of proper symptom management (pain, itchiness or discomfort) which requires supplies. 
  • Risk of delayed treatment time due to lack of supplies - and serious outcomes/reduced healing success. 
  • Outdoor safety lack - including injuries. 
  • Not knowing what to do in an emergency - due to lack of instructions or a first aid guide. 

Depending on the situation, this can cause a large degree of discomfort/symptoms - or worst of all place the person's or multiple lives at risk.

The consequences that arise also depend on the setting/incident you face.

For example, a workplace or home will have different first aid needs to the outdoors.

Being improperly prepared for the situation you may face is problematic - because certain situations (example, snake bites) will require different treatment.

When building your first aid kit/purchasing one, make sure to consider the following: 

  • How many people will be using it: e.g a family number 
  • What supplies you will need to replace 
  • The situation it will be used for. 
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Related Questions:

Are there different first aid kits for certain scenarios? 

Yes - there are. The few checklists here are some of the many scenarios in which first aid kits can be formulated for. You can buy kits for many settings - everything from outdoor/ocean based kits to car kits! 

What about my pet? How do I go about pet first aid? 

Don’t worry, your pets don’t have to miss out! You can also purchase first aid kits for your dog/cat! 

Takeaway: 

A proper checklist for first aid kits is crucial in many circumstances - from home settings all the way up to outdoor or workplace ventures.

You should regularly replace your first aid kit, and ensure it is always complete with supplies.

Make sure to also check everything is within the expiry dates - and replace them if not. Ensure you include supplies carefully, as a first aid kit can be extremely important and prevent serious injuries/outcomes until help arrives.

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