Put together a first aid kit that suits your family, for travel or your home
Whether you’re setting out on a holiday adventure or assembling a first aid kit especially for the kids, there are plenty of different things to consider. The first aid supplies you pack into your kit need to be right for the people using them. For example, adults might not appreciate a waterproof plaster decorated with cartoon designs, and if you have painkillers in your kit you might find they’re unsuitable for some members of the family, such as children.
First aid for children
Children are learning to explore the world, and sometimes exploring leads to a few bumps here and there. If you’re putting together a children’s health first aid kit, start with a good base, before customising it to suit your family.
Maybe you’ve got a little one who likes to get out and about, climbing trees and riding bikes. They might need a few more icepacks, sterile wipes and bandages. An extra thermometer might be useful in case one gets dropped or breaks. Nervous children might even like having a special soft toy with their first aid kit so they have something to comfort them when they’re hurt.
Remember to keep your kit well-stocked by making sure you always have up-to-date supplies. And it’s not enough just to have the kit. Make sure you know the basics of administering first aid, whether that means putting pressure on a bleeding wound, or immediately cooling a burn. If your child is old enough, teach them the basics too.
Read our article on first aid for children and if you are looking to improve your first aid skills you may want to book onto a course held near you.
First aid for adults
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to first aid at Boots. It might be useful to decide whether you’d prefer stocks of individual plasters and sterile wipes, or to buy a full kit that comes collected in a protective box or bag.
The most important thing is that everything in your kit is kept in date, so you know you’re giving yourself the best chance at healing. Sterile dressings, for example, can allow infection into the wound if used past their expiry date, so it's important to check dates on items in your kit before using them.
If you’re putting together a first aid kit for the first time, and you’re not 100 percent sure what you will find most useful, have a look at what the Boots website recommends. This includes things like disposable gloves, and compression bandages.
It’s also important to keep your first aid kit in an easy-to-reach place. Make sure it’s kept in a safe spot, away from water and heat damage, and somewhere that’s easy to grab in case you need it in a hurry. It’s a good idea to get a special car first aid kit, too, for anything that may happen on the road.
First aid for travel
First aid when travelling can be difficult to navigate. It’s important to balance the right kind of items in your travel first aid kit (for example, antiseptic ointment) whilst keeping it light and easily portable. It is important you have travel health insurance, but nobody wants to use it if they can.
If you can, spread the items between everyone who’s travelling. It’s easy to split off from other members of your group in an unfamiliar place, but this way you’ll still have some of your kit with you if something happens. This is also good advice for when you’re out and about in your holiday spot.
Sometimes, however, a first aid kit isn’t enough. That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure you know the emergency numbers of the place you’re travelling to, as well as researching beforehand if there are any special health care precautions you should take. That might mean only drinking bottled water when you’re there, or getting advice and information on malaria prevention and vaccinations before you travel abroad.
The basics of first aid stay the same whether you’re travelling to a far-off vacation destination or staying at home. Make sure your kit is fully stocked and anything sterilised, such as bandages, is in date. Pack your first aid kit for your environment, tailoring it for a trip to the park on a sunny day or staying at home. That way, you’ll be able to stay prepared wherever you are.