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Health Room Supplies

You asked for it: Here is a rundown of supplies you may need or want in your health room.

Bandages/First aid:

  • Adhesive bandages – varying sizes: In addition to the regular 1″x3″ bandaids, you also need a supply of 2″x4″, 7/8″ spots, and if you have the budget you can also have the fingertip and knuckle bandaids. If desired you can also find the multi skin tone bandaids.
  • Butterfly closures: I use these sparingly for wounds that need further closure in the ER. If you use a butterfly closure make sure to tell the parent that it is not a permanent solution and they need to seek medical care to address the wound.
  • ACE bandages multiple sizes: elastic bandages with the velcro closure are better than the ones with the little metal teeth to hold them closed. Similar to the butterfly closures, be sure to let the parent know that an ACE wrap is not to replace seeking medical evaluation if that is required, it’s a temporary solution to get them through till they can get to the doctor.
  • Wound cleaner/saline/antiseptic: I like the BZK antiseptic towelettes because they are individually packaged, they travel easily in first aid kits, and they don’t sting wounds.
  • Petroleum jelly: I prefer the small individual packets of petroleum jelly for sanitary purposes.
  • Splints – varying sizes: Mainly finger splints are needed but I like to keep some cardboard arm and leg splints available also in case of emergency. They are simple to place on an injury and wrap with ace bandage or tape.
  • Slings: I like the fabric triangle slings for the purpose of immobilizing the arm so the student can get to the hospital to be evaluated.
  • Tape
  • Splinter-out/needle nose tweezers: either is fine for removing splinters. Splinter Out are basically just lancettes.
  • Gauze: Stock with 2×2 and 4×4 gauze for wound cleaning, dressing, and applying ointments.
  • Cotton balls: You can substitute gauze for cotton balls if desired.
  • Cotton tipped applicators: I use these for everything – applying lip balm, petroleum jelly in the nose, hydrocortisone, and cleaning the outside of the ears.
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Gloves
  • Tissues
  • Tongue depressors
  • Ice bags/ice packs: I prefer to use ice bags and fill them from my ice machine as opposed to reusable ice packs. While it’s not the green way to go they are easily thrown in the trash when they are done instead of trying to keep track of the reusable ones.

Assessment & Tools

  • Thermometer(s): I love the Kinsa Smart Thermometer! It is the easiest to use and the most accurate. It links up to an app also so you can have a record to show parents. Alternatively, oral thermometers are best if possible – Welch-Allyn is the recommended brand to go for.
  • Stethoscope(s)
  • Otoscope: A regular otoscope is best but I also have a really cool digital one that I’m still learning how to use. FYI, you will NOT be using the ear wax removal feature in a school setting.
  • Sphygmomanometer: Have multiple sizes of blood pressure cuffs available for different size students and staff.
  • Scale: The Health-O-Meter is a popular scale/stadiometer combo.
  • Stadiometer: The Health-O-Meter is a popular scale/stadiometer combo.
  • Pulseoximeter: you don’t need anything fancy but I have this one that bluetooths to my phone for a readout.
  • Eye wash station: It’s very important to have some sort of eye wash available in case of anything in the eyes – I regularly have kids splashing hand sanitizer in their eyes, or getting dirt and pollen in their eyes. I like the sink mounted ones like the one I have linked but if you don’t have a sink that lends itself to this then the wall mounted ones are great also.
  • Vision screening tools: You will need various eye charts for different age groups and abilities, near vision, and depending on your state requirements you might need stereo vision, color vision, and the plus lens. All of this can be found on or the other supply companies listed.
  • Audiometer: You need an audiometer, more specifically a pure tone audiometer. MAICO is a popular brand. The OAE hearing screener is not meant for children over 5 years old but can be used for children who are disabled and unable to participate in a pure tone hearing screen. These can be purchased through the dealer or from the school health supply websites.
  • Flashlight/pen light: Needed for checking throats, pupils and other concerns.
  • Woods lamp/blacklight: See my post about Woods Lamps, these can be helpful in assessing for head lice, and some rashes.
  • Wheelchair
  • Gooseneck lamp: a bright light is often needed for things like splinter removal or assessing for lice.
  • Magnifier lamp: often comes as the gooseneck lamp.
  • AED(s): AED can be purchased through the school health supply companies or from direct dealers.
  • Ice machine: Ice machines are a must, especially in elementary. It’s far easier to have the ice machine than it is to make ice in ice cube trays every day!
  • Privacy screen: If you don’t already have a curtain or privacy areas in your health room then these are helpful.
  • Ring cutter: The manual ones are generally the best ones but you can also get the Dremmel one. Remember with a ring cutter you usually need two pairs of needle nose pliers to open the ring once cut.
  • Air purifier: I like the Levoit brand but any one with a HEPA filter will do.


  • Salt (regular table salt): for rinsing mouths from lost teeth, loose teeth and sore throats.
  • Tooth holders: For lost teeth. I absolutely hate the necklace ones because the strings will definitely get tangled, plus the strings are never long enough to wear around the neck. I cut the strings off usually or buy ones that do not have strings.
  • Ammonia inhalant: These are rarely used anymore but I like to have some on hand in case of emergency.
  • Lice combs/screening sticks: little wooden sticks that help you assess someone’s hair for head lice. Pro-tip: they also work as coffee stirrers.
  • Nosebleed clips: Helpful for pinching the nose for nosebleeds, especially for other staff and kids.
  • Cups: paper cups in varying sizes if possible for water and med administration. I accidentally bought one sleeve of tiny ones (I thought I was getting a whole case and it turned out to be one sleeve of tiny cups).
  • Ziplock bags – varying sizes: I store everything in ziplock bags – all meds go in a bag with students name on it, bandaid kits for classrooms go in quart size bags, lots of supplies are organized in them.
  • Peppermints: Optional, I prefer the pillow mints that are melty because the risk of choking is decreased.
  • Baby wipes: Again used for everything from wiping butts to cleaning faces.
  • Cotton rolls: needed for nosebleeds or lost teeth that bleed a lot.
  • Air freshener: Self explanatory. Try to go for the ones that are not heavily scented or the medical grade “odor eliminator” type sprays.
  • Braces wax: for braces injuries and pokey wires.
  • Trauma shears/bandage scissors: Have multiple pairs available, I include trauma shears with my AED to remove clothing or sports equipment.
  • Emesis bags/basins: Optional, I like to keep the bags for field trips in case of motion sickness.
  • Backpacks for field trip meds: helpful to pack meds and first aid supplies.
  • Go-bag: For drills (fire, lockdown, evacuation, etc) to hold supplies like meds, first aid etc.
  • Batteries: Everything needs batteries. Otoscopes, pen lights, label makers etc.
  • Ginger-ale: For upset tummies or low blood sugar.
  • Menstrual care: menstrual pads and/or tampons – you may be able to work with some companies like Always to get free pads or with the department of health.
  • Condoms: Again, you may be able to work with the health department or planned parenthood for free condoms.
  • Cleaning supplies: Lysol wipes, paper towels, etc. Your maintenance people might supply this or it is supplied by the school budget and not health room budget so check with admins if you need to invest in any disinfecting supplies.
  • PPE: Again, PPE may be provided by the district/school and you don’t have to supply it from your budget.


All medications suggested are based on your district/states guidelines. Some may be able to stock lots of things and others may not be allowed to have anything. Check your guidelines before investing in any meds.

  • Acetaminophen/Tylenol
  • Ibuprofen/Motrin
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Tums
  • Stock Epi-pens
  • Stock Albuterol

Unnecessary but helpful:

  • Robicomb for lice: Comb with small electrical current that zaps lice and nits.
  • Reli-a-light: a flashlight that fits a tongue depressor for looking in throats.
  • Digital otoscope: Allows better ear assessment, and the kids can see their ear on the screen!
  • Mindfulness toys/items: For when kids need a time out or a personality break.
  • Vision SPOT screener: So incredibly helpful for vision screens if your state/district allows it. They are expensive but worth it. This can be purchased from school health supply companies or a dealer.
  • Laminator: I love to make signs and bulletin boards and laminate it all! I have n Amazon one and it works perfectly.
  • Kinsa bluetooth thermometers: They come in ear, forehead, and oral thermometers. It connects to an ap on your phone to log temperatures. Kinsa has a Flu prevention program where you can get free thermometers for the students for home, found here:
  • Stop the Bleed kit: These are for bleeding trauma injuries like gunshots, stabbing etc. You can have the Stop the Bleed company come out and give a PD for you as well or do online training for the kits.
  • Prepackaged first aid kits: Perfect for field trip bags and storing in the main office or around the school for just in case.
  • CPR pocket masks & face shields: These can be kept with the AED or in visible locations in case of emergency.
  • CPR chest wrap: a cover for the chest that assists in placement of hands and stickers for CPR and AED usage.
  • Stickers/rewards: For after eye exams, hearing screens, or even to work with kids behavior if you’re involved with that.
  • Personal printer/scanner: I can not live without mine! I have an HP all in one printer/scanner/copier and it’s a lifesaver.
  • Vomit absorbent: Your maintenance people might already have this but if they don’t it’s helpful for cleaning up vomit from the floor.
  • Snacks: I keep some snacks like little bags of goldfish, saltines, and pringles on hand in case of emergency. I do NOT advertise that I have goodies though. Always keep snacks in closed bags to prevent mice.
  • Spacers for MDI: The students should be bringing their own but it’s helpful to have some extras on hand. carries disposable ones.
  • Life-vac choking device This is not FDA approved yet so many do not choose to use it but it exists and some swear by it. It’s kind of like a plunger with a mask on it that you can use to get an item out of a choking person’s mouth/throat.
  • Label maker: This helps to keep your stuff neat and tidy and organized. I label the drawers of my med cart, and anything else I might need to be organized.
  • Ear lavage kit: This is more than likely something you would not be using in a school setting depending on your policies as far as what procedures you can do but in a pinch having this can help wash out an ear that has a foreign body.
  • Self care items: Deodorant, toothbrushing, soap/shower wipes, chapstick, pads/tampons
  • Extra clothes and underwear: Students should have their own in their bags but we all know they don’t always. I keep spare underwear and I have a closet full of hand me down uniform clothes. This isn’t convenient for everyone to manage though, and often can be managed by the counsellor or another school staff member.

Most things on this list are linked on Amazon but you may have a contract with one or more of these vendors to get your supplies:

You can check out my TPT for printable supply lists including what to pack in your emergency bags:

Do you have any supplies that I didn’t mention that are life savers for you? Email or message me and let me know!

Published by Emme Mauer M.Ed., BSN, RN, CSN

Mom to two preemies, anxiety sufferer, postpartum depression survivor, and school nurse extraordinaire.

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