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Help and Healing in the Heat

Picture a mom and dad enjoying a glorious day at the beach with their two kids, aged five and seven. The younger one, Tyler, is running back from the shoreline when he trips in the sand and his knee grazes a small rock. Soon dad is in the car driving twenty minutes to the nearest drug store to search for antiseptic wipes, antibiotic cream, and bandages. Jeez, we can only hope he also remembers to buy some high-SPF sunscreen, because the lone tube they have will run out by day’s end.

First aid predicaments like these can usually be avoided with good planning. A first aid kit is vital for any family on a day trip, especially in the summer when so many kids are having fun and not always paying attention to obstacles (i.e., insects, rocks). The question about what to put in your first aid kit doesn’t have to be a tough one. In fact, some kits come pre-assembled. In cases where you are buying items separately, here’s what to consider as far as first aid summer essentials…

1. Over-the-Counter Drugs

Pack them and hope you won’t have to use them. Even if you do, the ones in your typical first aid kit are non-prescription, non-narcotic, and found in most drug stores. They should include analgesics (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) to help fend off the pain of headaches, and the ache from a cut or abrasion. Other drugs in your kit should include allergy medication, because you never know when an allergy attack may begin; anti-nausea medication, especially valuable if you are on a boat; hydrocortisone cream (0.5%), often used for inflammatory skin conditions; and antibiotic cream or ointment, to help prevent infection of minor wounds and burns.

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