The essential summer first aid kit

Ahhh, summer. Along with long sun-drenched days and outdoor adventures come cuts, bruises, bug bites and sunburns.

A store-brought first aid kit is a great start, but they typically lack many items that Dr Mum and Dr Dad will need over the lazy, hazy days of summer.

Here’s our shopping list for summer first aid safety:

1)    Store-brought kit

This should have different kinds of gauze, tape, band-aids and antibiotic ointment and steroid ointment. Find a large kit with plenty of space to add extras.

2)    Water bottle

The first step when your child comes to you with a boo boo is to clean the wound. If you’re away camping or out in the car, a water bottle is a must. It’s also perfect for treating dehydration.

3)    Antihistamines

Antihistamines are great for seasonal allergies and treatment of insect bites, hives and other allergic reactions. Make sure you have a child-specific antihistamine to ensure the correct dosage.

4)    EpiPen or alternative

If you have a family member with a history of severe allergic reactions, ask your GP for a prescription for EpiPen or its equivalent.

5)    Numbing spray

Great for burns, sunburn, or painful cuts and scrapes – can be purchased over-the-counter at the pharmacy.

6)    Prescription medications

Ask your physician for an extra prescription for any medication you or a family member uses regularly and keep the extra supply in your car first-aid kit. It’s a great back-up if you’re caught short out and about.

7)    Pain relief

Keep Ibuprofen and Paracetamol on hand at all times. The liquid version is ideal for kids.

8)    Anti-nausea medication

Don’t leave home without some great anti-nausea medication. Whether you are travelling by car, boat, train or plane, there’s nothing worse than a long journey with vomit-covered clothing.

9)    Sunblock

Enough said. The worst sunburns occur when you least expect it – at sports events or while playing in the back yard. Make sure that you have at least 30+ sun block in addition to your other sun-smart coverings. Include some SPF lip balm too.

10)    Bug spray

The best protection against mosquitoes and the like comes from a repellent that contains 30% DEET. Insect bites are annoying at best, but at worst they get scratched and infected, so the best defence is prior protection.

11)    Hydrocortisone cream

This is a relatively inexpensive, over-the-counter medication that will treat almost anything that itches – insect bites, poison ivy etc. If you stop the itch, the kids won’t scratch and you reduce the risk of secondary infection.

12)    Premade finger splint

Not sure if that finger is broken or not? Just put it in a pre-made finger splint until you get your child to the doctor. You can buy premade finger splints at any pharmacy.

13)    Alcohol wipes

It’s a good idea to use these to sterilise any first aid instruments before you use them, such as tweezers and scissors. They are also useful for cleaning skin before trying to remove splinters.

14)    A bottle of Gatorade

Very useful for hypoglycemia, dehydration, etc. Also useful as an occasional bribe for an over-tired, hungry child.

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