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A Coach's First-Aid Kit

The Basic Kit

These items are a suggestion as to what would be useful to have on hand. Certainly, additional items may be included according to your personal preference.

  1. Disposable gloves (use for injuries involving blood loss)
  2. Band-Aids (assortment of sizes, types, colors, etc.)
  3. Adhesive tape
  4. Gauze sponges (for cleaning cuts, applying pressure, etc.)
  5. Scissors
  6. Pack of tissues or roll of toilet paper (useful for cleanups, bloody noses, etc.)
  7. Chemical ice packs or plastic bags to hold ice
  8. Antiseptic (spray or ointment)
  9. Sun tan lotion
  10. Ace bandage (to hold ice bags onto limb)
  11. Sting relief (medication or cream to relieve the itch and, possibly tweezers)
  12. Medical release forms

Other Items You May Want to Add

NOTE: the following list should be considered to be representative rather than exhaustive. On the other hand, it may not be possible or advisable for all coaches to secure all items listed.


Qty Item
2 3-inch rolls elastic bandage (see notes below)
2 4-inch rolls elastic bandage (see notes below)
8 rolls 1.5 inch tape
8 rolls pre wrap
1 1 inch roll anti-allergenic cloth tape
2 medium ankle brace
1 large triangular bandage (for a sling)
2 large heel cups
1 12" plastic sanitary shovel (see notes below)
1 tape shear
1 scissors
1 tweezers

There are some good self-cling wraps on the market which are much easier to use than the Ace bandages with the little clamps. These self-clings can be particularly useful on the field when you're trying to do many things at once.

Upset Stomach

Qty Item
1 4-oz bottle anti-diarrhea liquid for bacterial infections
1 16-oz bottle anti-diarrhea liquid for indigestion
1 60-tab bottle double strength chewable anti acid tablets

Cuts & Abrasions

1 bottle antibacterial wash
1 bottle witch hazel and alcohol
1 can witch hazel pads (see notes below)
1 2-oz can benzocaine spray
20 2-inch strips adhesive bandage
50 .75-inch strips adhesive bandage
40 3" x 3" pads sterile gauze pad
5 3" x 4" pads non-stick pad
1 pkg.moleskin for blisters (see notes below)
1 pkg. butterfly bandages to close small cuts
1 4-oz can anti-bacterial spray scrub
1 4-oz can skin toughener
1 4-oz can spray on antiseptic bandage
1 3-oz tube abrasion ointment (zinc oxide, lanolin)
1 3-oz tube lubricant (lanolin, zinc oxide, benzocaine)
1 small bottle petroleum jelly
1 1.5-oz tube antibiotic ointment
4 pairs latex gloves

Strains & Sprains

1 3-oz tube balm (menthol, methyl salicylate, oleo resin capsicum)
1 3-oz tube analgesic balm (methyl salicylate)
1 4-oz bottle sports balm (methyl salicylate, menthol)
1 6-oz bottle salycin
1 6-oz can cold spray
9 large locking freezer bag
4 small locking freezer bag
1 air cast
8 bag instant freeze pack

Bruises & Fever

1 500 tablet bottle generic 325 mg ASA
1 100 tablet bottle 500 mg acetaminophen
1 50 tablet bottle 200 mg ibuprofen
1 50 tablet bottle 220 mg Naproxen Sodium

Eye / Skin / Nails

1 0.5 oz bottle polyvinyl alcohol eye drops
1 0.5 oz bottle eye drops
1 0.5 oz bottle contact lens wetting solution
1 4.0 oz bottle contact lens cleaning solution
1 6 oz bottle sun block (high SPF)
1 6 oz can insect repellent
1 0.15 oz tube lip balm
1 nail clipper
2 emery board
1 padded aluminum finger splint
1 0.5 oz tube 1% cortisone cream
1 4 oz can anti-fungal spray
1 15 oz bottle baby powder (see notes below)


You may want to carry a small cooler with ice. You could then fill a plastic zip-lock bag and use that to ice injuries. As an alternative, you can use the chemical ice packs, but there is some risk of leakage that you should be aware of. Cold spray is very difficult to use safely if you have not worked with it and is not recommended. In almost every use, direct application of ice or a freeze pack is safer and easier to use.

Special Medical Conditions

Depending on the medical conditions of your players you may find yourself carrying inhalers (make sure they are marked with the child's name and instructions), insulin, or other medication. Be sure to ask parents if the kids are allergic to bee stings and have them give you extra EPI pens or Benadryl for your kit. It is always preferable to have the parents in charge of these items since they know their child's condition better than you do.

In addition, you might include a cell phone with emergency phone numbers


  1. The plastic sanitary shovel is for filling ankle-breaking holes and divots and for covering sprinkler heads. Plastic helps get past airport security without questions.
  2. Witch hazel pads, in an alcohol solution, are an excellent in the field tool for cleaning wounds. They are also good for quick relief of bee stings.
  3. The baby powder, sprinkled on skin, on the sock, and inside the shoe, prevents blisters better than any other protection in most weather conditions.
  4. Please do not use elastic bandages (e.g. "Ace Wraps") for anything more than holding ice packs on an injury, not for restricting motion. Use tape and a brace instead.
  5. Moleskin should be cut to surround a blister, then the "hole" in the donut where the blister sits should be filled with petroleum jelly.
  6. Rubber bands are useful for tying back loose hair
  7. Large tongue depressors are useful in mud games to clean cleats
  8. Unless you have a spare uniform at a game or practice it would be wise to have a way to disinfect clothing that gets soaked with blood on the spot - 1 part bleach mixed with 10 parts water (NOT ahead of time) works well.
  9. Blankets, umbrellas, and tarps are also useful.

Updated 11 March 1999
Overview | Principles | Resources | Guidelines | Practices | Game Day | Very Young | More Reading