Major First Aid Kits

Purpose of this policy

To ensure schools have appropriate first aid equipment to enable health support.


Schools must:

  • maintain at least one major first aid kit located in the sick bay
  • store any medications separately from the first aid kit including any prescribed or non-prescribed medication provided by a student’s parent/carer or adult/independent student.


First aid kit contents should meet the first aid requirements of individual schools.  This table lists the general contents recommended by Ambulance Victoria.

Note: Thermometers are not:

  • necessary for first aid
  • used in general first aid training according to the National Health Training Package (First Aid Units of Competency) HLT07 (February 2007).
Type of equipment Content includes

Current first aid manual

one of the following recommended first aid manuals:

  • First Aid Emergency Handbook from:
    - Survival Emergency Products
    - local suppliers
    - Ambulance Victoria First Aid
  • The First Aid Handbook from Australian Red Cross
  • Australian First Aid from St John Ambulance Australia.

See: Other resources

Wound cleaning equipment

  • gauze swabs: 100 of 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm divided into small individual packets of five sterile saline ampoules: 12 x 15 ml and 12 x 30 ml
  • disposable towels for cleaning dirt from skin surrounding a wound

Wound dressing equipment

  • sterile, non-adhesive dressings, individually packed:
    - eight 5 cm x 5 cm
    - four 7.5 m x 7.5 m
    - four 10 cm x 10 cm for larger wounds
  • combine pads: twelve 10 cm x 10 cm for bleeding wounds
  • non-allergenic plain adhesive strips (‘band aids”), without antiseptic on the dressing, for smaller cuts and grazes
  • steri-strips/wound closures for holding deep cuts together in preparation for stitching
  • non-allergenic paper/adhesive type tape, width 2.5 cm–5 cm, for attaching dressings
  • conforming bandages for attaching dressings in the absence of tape or in the case of very sensitive skin
  • six sterile eye pads, individually packed


  • six triangular bandages for:
    - slings
    - pads for bleeding
    - attaching dressings
    - immobilising injured limbs
    - splints etc
  • conforming bandages to hold dressings in place:
    - two of 2.5 cm
    - two of 5 cm
    - six of 7.5 cm
    - two of 10 cm
  • crepe bandages (“hospital weight”) to secure a pad to control bleeding, to support soft tissue injuries (sprains & strains) and for ‘Pressure Immobilisation Bandaging technique’ for snake bite:
    - two of 2.5 cm
    - two of 5 cm
    - six of 7.5 cm
    - two of 10 cm
    - two 15 cm
  • heavy elastic bandages; two 15cm. These are ideal to use for ‘Pressure Immobilisation Bandaging technique’ for snake bite or severe allergic reaction to other bites and stings.

Injury treatment equipment

  • one pair of:
    - stainless steel scissors (medium size)
    - trauma shears (heavy duty scissors for cutting clothing, bandages, shoelaces etc. if required)
  • disposable splinter probes and a sharps container for waste
  • disposable tweezers
  • for sprains, strains and bruises, two:
    - gel packs, kept in the refrigerator, or
    - disposable ice packs for portable kits made from small zip-lock plastic bags filled with water, frozen and wrapped in a cloth/bandage/disposable towel before being application
  • flexible ‘sam’ splints for fractured limbs (in case of ambulance delay)
  • additional 7.5 m crepe bandages and safety pins to attach splints
  • ice packs.

Lotions and ointments

  • sun screen, ideally a low allergenic/sensitive skin type, with a sun protection factor of between 15+ and 30+
  • single use sterile saline ampoules for the irrigation of eyes


  1. Creams and lotions, other than those in aqueous or gel form, are not recommended in the first aid treatment of wounds or burns.
  2. Antiseptics are not recommended. Cuts and abrasions should be cleaned initially under running water followed by deeper and more serious wounds being cleaned with sterile saline prior to dressing.

Hygiene and cleaning equipment

  • single use nitrile gloves in various sizes such as small, medium and large
    Note: Some people are allergic to latex gloves.
  • blood and vomit spill kits
  • disposable hand towels
  • adhesive sanitary pads, as a backup for personal supplies
  • antiseptic hand wash/germicidal soap and nail brush for hand-cleaning before and after treatment only
  • single use antiseptic wipes for hand cleaning when water is not readily available
  • one box of paper tissues
  • paper towel for wiping up blood spills in conjunction with blood spill kit
  • single use plastic rubbish bags that can be sealed, for used swabs
  •  a waste disposal bin suitable for taking biohazard waste
    Note: Biohazard waste should be burnt. There are several companies that will handle bulk biohazard waste.
  • ice cream containers or emesis bags for vomit.

Other equipment

  • resuscitation face mask such as “pocket mask” type that can be cleaned/reused
  • one medicine measure for use with prescribed medications
  • disposable cups
  • one teaspoon
  • pen-like torch, to measure eye-pupil reaction
  • blanket and sheet, including a thermal accident blanket for portable kits
  • possibly a generic EpiPen® for treating anaphylaxis sufferers see: Anaphylaxis within Related policies

Related policies

Department resources

Other resources