Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.6 Supplies

5.6.0 First Aid and Emergency Supplies

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 01/23/2020.

Early care and education programs should maintain fully equipped first aid kits in each classroom in case of an injury. The first aid kit should be kept in a container, cabinet, or drawer that is labeled and stored in a location that is known and accessible to staff at all times and out of reach of children. First aid kits in vehicles and classroom kits taken out for recess or a walk should be stored safely in a place that is out of reach of children. When children leave the facility for recess or a walk or to be transported, a designated staff member should bring a first aid kit in a portable device (eg, backpack) or otherwise ensure that a first aid kit is readily available.

Early care and education staff should inventory or check first aid supplies once a month and replace any used or expired items.1 An itemized list of supplies and a written log should be kept that documents

  • The date that each inventory was conducted
  • Verification that expiration dates of supplies were checked
  • Location of supplies (eg, in the facility supply, transportable first aid kit[s])
  • The legal name/signature of the staff member who completed the inventory

Early care and education program directors should have plans/methods for verifying that these steps are taken as planned.

First Aid Items

The following first aid supplies should be in all classroom first aid kits 1(p463-464)-4: 

  1. Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes) and tape
  2. Antiseptic solution (hydrogen peroxide) or antiseptic wipes
  3. Cold pack
  4. Cotton-tipped swabs
  5. Disposable powder-free, latex-free gloves
  6. Eye patch
  7. Fever-reducing medications (eg, acetaminophen/ibuprofen) to be used ONLY for children with an order from a primary health care provider and signed parental consent
  8. Flexible roller gauze
  9. Liquid hand soap and/or handwashing gels
  10. Mouthpiece for giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) (available from your local Red Cross)
  11. Pen/pencil and note pad
  12. Plastic bags (for disposing of blood and other body fluids)
  13. Safety pins
  14. Sanitary pads, individually wrapped (to contain bleeding of injuries)
  15. Small scissors
  16. Sterile eyewash
  17. Sterile gauze pads (various sizes)
  18. Thermometer—digital or tympanic (ear)—should not contain glass/mercury
  19. Triangular bandages
  20. Tweezers
  21. Water (2 L of sterile water for cleaning wounds or eyes)


When children are on a walk or are transported to another location, the transportable first aid kit should include ALL items listed previously AND the following emergency information/items:

  1. A roster of all children present
  2. Contact information and list of approved family/guardians authorized for pickup
  3. List of emergency phone numbers (eg, poison control, hospital/emergency facilities)
  4. Special health care plans/emergency medications for both children and caregivers
  5. Special health care documents
  6. Signed emergency release forms for each child
  7. First aid/choking/CPR chart (American Academy of Pediatrics or equivalent)
  8. Up-to-date first aid manual
  9. Written transportation policy and contingency plan (up-to-date and easily accessible)
  10. Maps
  11. Cell phone
  12. Radio
  13. Whistle
  14. Flashlight

Facilities must place emphasis on safeguarding each child and ensuring that staff members are prepared and able to handle emergencies.3 Well-stocked first aid and disaster/emergency supplies help ensure staff are prepared and able to handle possible emergencies and injuries.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training for Staff Topics Covered in Pediatric First Aid Training Hand Sanitizers Medical Emergency Procedures Guidelines for Taking Children’s Temperatures Supply of Food and Water for Disasters Written Plan and Training for Handling Urgent Medical or Threatening Incidents Transportation Policy for Centers and Large Family Homes
Appendix NN: First Aid and Emergency Supply Lists
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. PedFACTs: Pediatric First Aid for Caregivers and Teachers. 2nd ed. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2014

  2. Federal Emergency Management Agency. Emergency supply list. Accessed August 20, 2019

  3. KidsHealth. First-aid kit. Reviewed August 2018. Accessed August 20, 2019

  4. eXtension. First aid in child care. Published September 14, 2015. Accessed August 20, 2019


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 01/23/2020.