L I F E S T A R T

Creating the Essential Summer First Aid Kit

 
The summer season is here!!!  We know we should all have a 'winter kit' that we keep in the car but have you ever considered having a 'summer kit'?  As we often hear, it's better to be safe than sorry.  Here are our top essentials to help prevent common injuries when out on day trips or even while away on vacation this summer. 
The most common ailments during the summer months are heatstroke, sunburn, cuts, eye injuries, fractures (these are very common considering wet tiles and pools!), dehydration, and allergies.
 
Safety First
 
One of the most effective ways to deal with common summertime injuries is having a fully stocked... first aid kit (that's not where you thought we were going with that sentence, is it?).   You can purchase first-aid kids pre-made and decked out, but we recommend customizing one to suit your and your family's needs.
You can use the traditional plastic box for your kit or pick up a waterproof container from the dollar store.  You'll be well prepared for any emergencies.
 
9 Essential First Aid Kit Items
 
The most important items your first aid kit should include are:
 
Water
 
This is why the pre-made kits might not be the best choice because water is the most crucial thing you need to survive the summer heatstroke/exhaustion-free is water!  Make sure extra water bottles are packed into your first aid kits.  It is not only required for drinking but to wash wounds clean, clear off irritants and treat many other ailments. 
Water is the best medicine to prevent indigestion, sunburns, heat exhaustion/stroke, and other typical summer inconveniences. 
 
Sunscreen
 
While not typically included in most first-aid kits, sunscreen is the best preventative measure you can take to prevent sunburns, even on those overcast days.  And we know it's good practice, in the long run, to help reduce the risk of skin cancer. 
Choose a sunscreen that is  SPF of 30 or higher, is water-resistant and provides broad-spectrum coverage, which means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays.
 
Bandages, Bandaids, and Gauze
 
These are a must in any first aid kit, and you should ideally have three types of bandages for a well-equipped first aid kit.  Firstly, sterilized gauze for minor bleeding injuries, stretch bandages for supporting strains and sprains, and waterproof bandages if you want to heal an injury and still enjoy being in the pool. 
Make sure to keep a couple more absorbent bandages to help with bleeding.  Bandaids should take care of any minor scratches and cuts children are likely to get when running around.
 
Insect Repellents
 
If you are camping or enjoying the great outdoors, the chances are that mosquitoes will attack you by the dozens.  Depending on where you live, they may carry you away!. While some vacation destinations have species of insects that can cause diseases, we typically are subject to insect bites that cause irritation and possible allergies.  
You can use an insect repellent with DEET; however, make sure not to put it directly on your skin.
 
Gloves and Antibacterial Ointments
 
Gloves are essential in your first aid kit and will help prevent wound contamination by your hands.  An antibacterial ointment can help prevent infection and speed up the healing processes for injuries.  Don't use latex gloves; instead, get medical-grade ones.
 
Scissors and Tweezers
 
Tweezers are essential for campers vacationing during the summers because splinters can cause trouble if left untreated.  Make sure you have rubbing alcohol to sterilize your tweezers before extracting splinters and thorns from the skin. 
If a tick has latched onto your body, pull the insect's head out, not just its rear.  Medical-grade tweezers should get the job done just fine, and scissors are essential for cutting bandages or removing torn toenails without extra pain.
 
Ice/heat packs 
 
Let's face it, even when careful, a twisted ankle or pulled muscle 
can quickly happen while we're out enjoying nature.  An instant hot or cold pack will help reduce swelling and pain until you can get it checked out.  Make sure you have adhesive tape or bandages that you can use to hold the hot/cold pack on the injury.
 
Painkillers 
 
Any good first-aid kit contains painkillers such as ibuprofen or Tylenol if you have children, you may want to ensure you have a liquid form. 
 
Antihistamines, Aloe Vera and Hydrocortisone
 
These two are essential for dealing with allergic reactions and irritations from insect bites.  Remember that antihistamines can cause drowsiness.  Don't use hydrocortisone creams on children since they have sensitive skin. 
Aloe vera is a wonderful natural coolant to treat sunburns and skin irritation once the skin has been cooled down. 
 
The Bottom Line
 
With any seasonal travelling, you should always carry a first-aid kit.  Since most common summer ailments are easily prevented, it's better to be prepared.  Use the list mentioned above to create your own essential summer first-aid kit that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg.