Last week, an email from my son’s nursery landed with the subject line: ‘First Aid Kit Contents’. Until I read it, the contents of my first aid kit couldn’t have been further from my mind. But you never know when you’re going to be in an emergency – and those contents could be a life-saver.

As Alan Weir, head of clinical services at St John Ambulance says: “A well-stocked first-aid kit is essential to have at home and in the car – you never know when you might need it.”

But there’s more to it than popping a few plasters and some antiseptic cream in your medicine cupboard and letting them fester until they’re no longer usable.

Lloyds Pharmacy pharmacist Samantha Preston says: “A good first aid kit should include plasters, antiseptic wipes, clean dressings, microporous tape, gloves and bandages. Being the person that has to give first aid can be daunting, but having a well-stocked first aid kit and a bit of knowledge can make such a difference exactly when it counts.”

“Keep the kit somewhere dry and make sure your whole family knows where it is in case of an emergency,” adds Alan. “Make sure you check your first aid kit regularly, and replace any supplies that are running low or out of date.

“It’s important to know what you’re doing with your equipment too, so we suggest keeping a copy of the first aid manual with your kit, or you can download the St John Ambulance first aid app.”

[Related story: First aid app saves heart attack victim]

8 items you need in your first aid kit

The essential items St John Ambulance recommends are:

• A variety of plasters for cuts and grazes

• Some larger dressings for more serious cuts and wounds

• Triangular bandages

• Sterile medical wipes

• A couple of pairs of sterile gloves

• Some sterile eye wash

• An instant ice pack for strains and sprains

• Some sticky tape

You can buy ready-made first aid kits online from the St John Ambulance supplies shop and all the proceeds go back into their charitable work. Lloyds Pharmacy also sells a Family First Aid Kit for £12.79.

If you’d rather put your own one together, here are some recommendations from Lloyds Pharmacy:

Lloydspharmacy Cushioned Plasters - 20 Assorted  (£1.89)

Lloydspharmacy Antiseptic Wipes - 10 Wipes (£1.99)

Lloydspharmacy Antiseptic Cream - 25g (£1.39)

Lloydspharmacy Sterile Adhesive Dressings - 5 Dressings (£1.99)

Micropore Tape 2.5cm 5 Metre Long (£2.05)

Is there anything we’ve missed that you’d put in your first aid kit? Tell us in the Comments below.