<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1260008008053891&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

3 min read

First aid kits: where should you keep them?

A green first aid box filled with medical supplies positioned next to a smaller travel first aid kit.

First aid kits are undoubtedly a hugely important health and safety measure in schools. But where should you put these kits, and how many of them do you need?

Under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, schools and colleges are required to make first aid provisions while people are on their premises. This also applies when staff and students are working on school activities off-site, for example, when they are on educational trips. As part of this, schools have to provide adequate and suitable equipment, facilities and personnel based on a first aid needs assessment – and this includes an appropriate first aid container stocked with the necessary supplies.

However, this guidance doesn’t detail exactly where first aid kits should be placed and the quantity your school might require. Below, we delve into this crucial topic in detail to help ensure you understand the specific needs of your school when it comes to first aid kits.

Where should you keep a first aid kit?

First aid kits need to be quickly and easily accessible in the event of a medical incident anywhere in your school or off-site if your students and staff take field trips. Because of this, more than one kit will be needed.

Answering the questions below will help you to determine where these resources should be situated in your school, and, related to this, how many you will need.

What to consider when storing a first aid kit

How many floors/zones does the school have?

Broadly speaking, the larger and more expansive your site is, the more first aid kits you are likely to have. It can help to think about your school as containing distinct areas, or “zones”, when you are positioning first aid supplies.

For example, if it would take more than 60 seconds to cover the distance from one point to another within your school, split the space into different zones and make sure each has its own first aid supplies. Different floors should be classified as distinct zones too, and again, each should have its own first aid provisions.

Are there any separate buildings or outdoor areas such as playgrounds?

The same principle applies to different buildings within your school grounds. Teachers and other members of staff should never have to travel between buildings to access first aid supplies. This is true of any remote areas too, such as distant playgrounds or sports fields. These locations must be served by quickly and easily accessible first aid kits.

It’s also important to consider the location of outdoor areas close to the school buildings. It can be tempting to presume that the first aid kit inside one zone can cover the playground just outside, but this is only the case if it’s situated nearby. If not, you may need an additional first aid kit specifically to cover the outdoor area.

Are there any high-risk areas such as science labs?

It’s true that injuries and other medical emergencies can happen anywhere. However, as we highlighted in our posts covering common hazards in primary schools and secondary schools, there are some areas that are inherently riskier than others. This may include the likes of sports halls, design and technology rooms, science labs, IT suites, cafeterias and more.

Such areas might need extra first aid kits, or larger kits with additional contents. For example, in the case of a science lab, this could include supplies that can be used to treat incidents involving contact with harmful chemicals.

Recording and tracking incidents, injuries and illnesses in your school will help you to monitor what sorts of incidents are occurring and where, and with online health management software, you can create, filter and export medical reports to make it easier to spot first aid trends across your school. In turn, this can inform your decisions about where to position first aid kits.

Are students ever taken off-site for trips or sports matches?

You should also consider getting travel first aid kits and sports first aid kits that staff can take with them on trips away from the school. It is vital that your staff can administer first aid if necessary, whether they are on or off-site.

Does the school have any vehicles?

Similarly, all school vehicles, including minivans or buses, should be equipped with suitable first aid kits.

Do any students or staff have specific medical needs?

As well as standard first aid supplies, extra provisions might need to be made available for students or staff who have additional medical needs, for example, those with diabetes or allergies. You will need to put careful consideration into where to situate these supplies so that they can be easily accessed to treat the relevant people.

How many first aid kits do I need?

There is no set formula you can use to calculate how many first aid kits you need. For example, you can't solely base this decision on the size of your school or the number of staff or students you have. The only way to get an accurate idea of how many of these kits you need is to carry out regular first aid needs assessments. As part of this, you should ask yourself questions such as those posed above.

Bear in mind that it’s always better to be overstocked than not to have enough of these resources. Also, regardless of how many first aid kits you have, it is vital to make sure you keep these kits fully stocked at all times and have spares and refills on standby.

The Connection Between Physical Health and SAT Performance

Explore the correlation between physical health and SAT scores, and discover the importance of overall well-being in academic success.

Read More

Walk To School Week

Discover the benefits of walking to school and join the movement during Walk To School Week!

Read More

Ensuring School Safety: A Guide to Reporting Incidents

Discover the importance of reporting incidents in schools and learn how to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Read More