No first aid kit? No problem!

You may not always have access to a first aid kit in an emergency. Here are some suggestions for other everyday items you can use.


If you don’t have water to cool the burn, use ...

  • juice
  • beer
  • milk …

... in fact use any cold, harmless liquid, until you have access to cold running water.

The aim is to cool the area as quickly as possible, using whatever cold liquid is available.

Remember: the burn should be cooled for at least ten minutes for the treatment to be effective.

Alternative ways to cool burns

If you don’t have cling film to cover the burn, use …

  • a clean plastic carrier bag
  • a sandwich bag
  • a freezer bag
  • or similar.

These types of items will not stick to the burn and will create a barrier to stop infection. Plastic bags are particularly useful for covering a burned hand or foot.

Alternative ways to cover burns

Broken bones

If you don’t know what sort of padding to use to support a broken bone, use …

  • items of clothing
  • blankets

... or simply hold the injured part yourself.

Alternative ways to treat a broken bone

Bleeding heavily

If you don’t have dressing pads to put pressure on the wound, use ...

  • a t-shirt
  • a tea towel

... or even the person’s own hand.

All these items can be used to put pressure on the wound and stop or slow down the flow of blood.

Alternative ways to treat bleeding heavily

Diabetic emergency

If you don’t have glucose tablets, use ...

  • orange juice
  • a few sugar cubes
  • packets of sugar
  • sweets

... or any regular fizzy drinks (not diet drinks).

Alternative ways to treat a  diabetic emergency

Head injury

If you don’t have any ice cubes, use ...

  • a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel
  • clothing soaked in cold water and wrung out.
Alternative ways to treat a head injury