Guide to the New Texas First Aid Laws

Coinciding with the start of the new year, Texas has implemented a new first aid law. House Bill 496, which went into effect on January 1st, 2020, requires all public schools and open-enrollment charter schools in the state of Texas to have bleeding control kits available on campus. These first aid kits are being referred to as ‘Stop the Bleed’ kits. They are required to be placed in easily accessible areas and are to be included in a school’s emergency preparedness plans.

These kits provide first aid items that can help stop traumatic hemorrhaging. HB 496 allows the superintendent of the district or the director of the school to determine how many ‘Stop the Bleed’ kits to have available throughout the school.

HB 496 requires the following items be available in the kit:


The most critical item in your ‘Stop the Bleed’ kit is the tourniquet. Various designs are available, but Texas law requires that the tourniquets you keep in your kits have been approved by the United States armed forces for use in a battlefield trauma area. Tourniquets are used to stem arterial bleeding of extremities.

Chest Seals

Chest seals are used to treat a sucking chest wound. These dressings are often used to treat a gunshot, stabbing, or other puncturing in the chest area.

Compression Bandages

Compression bandages allow you to stop traumatic bleeding by keeping sustained pressure on a wound, leaving your hands free to treat other areas on a person.

Bleeding Control Bandages

Bleeding control bandages help to control the bleeding of deep wounds. If an individual has a deep wound, you need to pack the wound with gauze to help control the bleeding. Consider getting bleeding control bandages that have been treated with hemostatic agents, which helps get the wound under control quicker.

Space Emergency Blankets

Space emergency blankets are used to treat shock and hypothermia. These blankets keep individuals warm, which helps the body’s ability to clot, delaying the onset of shock from a traumatic injury.

Latex-Free Gloves

While treating an individual that has just suffered a traumatic injury, it is important to wear latex-free gloves. These gloves offer some protection from infection and bloodborne illnesses for those helping the injured.


Scissors can help you cut away an article of clothing, so you can reach the wound you are treating quicker.


Markers can be used to write on bandages, paper, skin, and other surfaces to document the time that first aid was provided to the patient. This information can be useful to professional medical personnel arriving on the scene.

Instruction Documents

These provide important information to first responders as to which injuries to treat first and how to treat them. These documents must be developed by the American College of Surgeons or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.Department of Homeland Security.

Dot It can supply your school with SmartCompliance first aid kits. SmartCompliance first aid kits are OSHA and ANSI 2015 compliant. For more information about the SmartCompliance first aid program, contact Dot It today.

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