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 twenty minutes for the treatment to be effective.

Milk in a glass bottle

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.

Roll of cling film wrap

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.

Folded up scarf

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.


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).

Can of cola

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.
Frozen bag of peas