Can You Bring a First Aid Kit on a Plane? Absolutely, and Here’s Why You Should!

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Don't leave home without a first aid kit

You’re all set for your much-awaited vacation. You’ve got your tickets, packed your bags, and you’re ready to go. But, wait! Have you thought about your health and safety during your journey? What if you, your kids, or your travel companion encounters a sudden ailment or an injury during your flight? Agitated? Well, here’s the solution – bring a first aid kit on your plane journey!


  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) permits first aid kits in carry-on luggage as long as they adhere to agency guidelines.
  • Carrying a first aid kit is beneficial, particularly for passengers with medical conditions or those traveling with children.
  • Despite the potential for accidents and injuries during travel, only 26% of travelers carry a first aid kit, according to a survey by the American Red Cross.
  • Make sure to familiarize yourself with TSA guidelines to avoid any issues at security.
  • First aid kits can be a lifesaver in many situations, not just in the air, but throughout your trip.

Understanding TSA Guidelines for First Aid Kits

According to the TSA, passengers are allowed to bring a first aid kit on a plane in their carry-on luggage. However, there are some rules to keep in mind. Any liquid, aerosol, gel, cream or paste in your first aid kit, such as antiseptic wipes or creams, must follow the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. This rule states that each passenger can bring containers no larger than 3.4 ounces, all of which must fit into a single, quart-size, clear, resealable plastic bag. Sharps such as scissors must be less than 4 inches long.

The Value of a First Aid Kit

As stated by Dr. David G. Schlundt, a Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University, “Having a first aid kit on hand during air travel is always a good idea, especially if you have a medical condition or are traveling with children.” It’s a simple precaution that could make a world of difference in a health-related emergency.

Yet, despite the evident benefits, a surprising number of travelers neglect to bring a first aid kit. A survey by the American Red Cross found that only 26% of respondents carry a first aid kit when traveling. This is a rather concerning statistic considering the potential for accidents and injuries while on the move.

Read next: Can you bring a car seat on a plane?

What to Include in Your Travel First Aid Kit?

Now that we’ve established the importance of having a first aid kit, let’s discuss what it should contain. A basic travel first aid kit could include the following items:

  • Adhesive bandages of various sizes
  • Sterile gauze pads and adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic wipes or cream
  • Tweezers and scissors (remember, scissors should be less than 4 inches long)
  • A digital thermometer
  • Over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen
  • Any prescription medications

Remember, each traveler’s needs will be unique, so consider your personal health considerations when packing your first aid kit.

First Aid Kits: Not Just for the Air!

While we’ve primarily discussed the benefits of having a first aid kit on a plane, let’s not forget that they’re incredibly useful throughout your trip. Whether you’re exploring a bustling city, hiking in the wilderness, or relaxing at a beach resort, accidents can happen anywhere. A well-stocked first aid kit can help you respond effectively to a wide range of common travel ailments and injuries, from cuts and scrapes to headaches and allergic reactions.

Concluding Thoughts

In the hustle and bustle of preparing for a trip, it’s easy to overlook something as simple yet essential as a first aid kit. But, as we’ve discovered, it’s a small addition to your luggage that can make a significant difference to your travel safety and well-being. So, next time you’re preparing for a trip, ask yourself: “Can I bring a first aid kit on a plane?” Yes, you can, and indeed, you should!


Can I bring scissors in my first aid kit on a plane?

Yes, but the TSA rules state that scissors must be less than 4 inches long from the pivot point.

Can I bring medication in my carry-on?

Yes, prescription and over-the-counter medications are allowed in carry-on luggage. It’s recommended to keep them in their original packaging.

What should I do if I have a larger item that doesn’t fit in my quart-sized bag?

If you have a medical necessity for larger quantities of non-prescription liquid medications, you can declare these at the checkpoint for further inspection.

Do all airlines allow first aid kits?

Yes, most airlines follow TSA guidelines, which allow first aid kits. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your airline for any specific restrictions.

Can I bring a pre-packaged first aid kit on a plane?

Yes, pre-packaged first aid kits can be brought on a plane, but they should still adhere to TSA guidelines, particularly regarding liquids and sharps.

Can I bring a first aid kit in my checked luggage?

Yes, you can pack a first aid kit in your checked luggage. Some items not allowed in carry-on luggage may be permitted in checked luggage.

You should also check out: Can you bring medication on a plane?


TSA guidelines
American Red Cross survey
Quote by Dr. David G. Schlundt

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