First Aid Kits etc
First Aid Kits
You need more than one First Aid Kit. They need to be accessible
- and must NOT be kept locked away, although simple plastic security
tags are readily available to help prevent pilfering (especially
of tape and plasters). The other advantage of using a security
tag on the First Aid Kit is that checking the contents are intact
is a simple matter of looking at the security tag. This will save
your Safety Adviser a LOT of work.
- boathouse - fully stocked kit,
- clubhouse - ditto. Essential if you have external functions
in your clubhouse; you wouldn't want guests at a wedding reception,
for example, stumbling about the boathouse looking for the First
- launches - basic First Aid Kits in each launch,
- bank coaches - consider providing basic supplies for coaches
- portable kits - separate fully stocked First Aid Kits should
be available to take with you to events, mostly in case of any
accidents on the way to and from the event.
Decide whether or not you think your club First Aid Kits are
for emergency use only (which I strongly recommend), or whether
you're happy for club members to use their contents to tape up
their blistered hands. My view is that blisters are an occupational
hazard, not a First Aid emergency, and all oarsmen should be expected
to provide their own plasters and tape for these running repairs.
This is my view of what should be included in (and excluded
from) a First Aid Kit for rowing clubs. It's based on recommendations
in the 8th Edition of the First Aid Manual.
- Waterproof container - clearly marked, preferably with the standard marking (white cross on a green background; NOT a red cross).
- A mixed selection (min. 20) of waterproof
adhesive dressings (plasters) - consider getting blue catering
plasters if you want to use this in a kitchen.
- 6 medium sterile dressings
- 2 large sterile dressings
- 2 extra-large sterile dressings
- 2 sterile eye-pads - even if only one eye is injured, you
will need to bandage both, otherwise when the healthy eye moves,
the injured eye moves with it and may cause further damage. Some
pre-packed First Aid Kits only include one eye-pad; add a second
- 6 triangular bandages - woven ones, I find, are better than the "non-woven" paper type.
- 12 safety pins - shouldn't be a shortage of safety pins in
the average rowing club!
- 4 pairs of disposable gloves (be careful with latex gloves
as some people can have a dangerous allergic reaction to their
- Scissors - the Tuffcut
type are very versatile, but you will also need a smaller, sharper
pair to cut dressings with etc.
- 4 crepe bandages (assorted widths / lengths)
- Non-alcoholic wound cleansing wipes
- Adhesive tape
- Notepad / pencil / tags - take notes of the incident and
casualty's condition and make sure they stay with the casualty
- Plastic face shield or (preferably) face
You can get complete First Aid Kits (e.g. the St John kit) together with replacement
bits and pieces from St John Supplies (you don't have to be a
member to order from them), or lots of High Street stores. Why
not put in a big order for your club and any club members who
would like to upgrade their own domestic First Aid Kits, and take
advantage of bulk discounts?
Things NOT to have in a First Aid
- DEFINITELY NO prescription medication - if, for example, asthmatic club
members want to keep a spare inhaler then they need to keep it
in their kit bag.
- All the advice I've had on my various training courses is not to keep any drugs or medication
at all in a First Aid Kit. If you do decide that you want to have
some headache tablets, e.g. paracetamol or aspirin, then make
sure they're clearly labelled, in date and only have a few (say
no more than 6) in the First Aid Kit at any one time. I still think it's a bad idea, but it's your call.
First Aid Training
OK, you've got a well-stocked, accessible First Aid Kit, ideally
more than one. But do you know how to use it? It's not really
much use if you don't. Find out if any club members already have
First Aid qualifications, and make a list. If you haven't got
any, then get some. Contact your local St John Ambulance or British Red Cross (check the local phone
book for contact details) about courses. Maybe if you can get
sufficient interest in the club (and neighbouring clubs too),
you could persuade them to run a course specifically for you.
Or find out from your employers if they need any First Aiders
at work - then you might get lucky and have them pay for the training!
The more qualified and proficient First Aiders there are, the
more likely one will be on hand when you need one.