Summer is one of the most action-packed seasons of the year. Many families enjoy recreational activities ranging from hiking and kids' softball to pool and lake days. Mercy pediatrician Dr. Laura Waters recommends putting together a personalized first-aid kit to meet all of your summer needs.
“You can certainly buy the pre-made kits, but you’ll probably need to add a few things to it here and there,” she said. “Most of the things that you need you can get at the dollar store and pack an entire kit for less than $20.”
Whether you buy a first-aid kit or put one together yourself, Dr. Waters emphasizes how easy it is to customize first-aid kits. For example, she explains that for families with severe allergies, one of the most important things they can add to their first-aid kit is an EpiPen. Others might want to speak to their doctor about getting an extra supply of prescription medication to add.
Other useful items
- Bottle of water: to treat dehydration or clean wounds
- Benadryl: to fight hives, allergic reactions or insect bites
- EpiPen: for those with severe allergies
- Prescription medication: an extra supply can be useful in a pinch
- Ibuprofen and Tylenol: for pain relief, plus liquid versions for children
- Dramamine: nausea medication, a lifesaver for carsick kids
- Sunscreen: to prevent sunburns, with at least SPF 30
- Bug spray: to protect against insects, with at least 30% DEET
- Afrin nasal spray or tampons: for nosebleeds
- Hydrocortisone ointment: to treat anything from insect bites to poison ivy
- Flashlight/headlamp: another useful tool in a pinch
- Baby wipes: can help keep you, the kids and the car clean
- Lip balm: for chapped lips, or with SPF to help prevent sunburned lips
- Clean towel: can act as spare bandage or blanket
- Alcohol wipes: to sterilize wounds, tweezers or anything else
- Elastic bandage: to bind sprains and strains or to hold a splint on a fracture
- Tweezers and small magnifying glass: to remove splinters, fishing hooks or bugs. (Note: tweezers are not recommended for tick removal. Credit cards are more effective in scraping off ticks.)
Dr. Waters suggests storing your summer first-aid kit in the car so it is readily accessible in case of an emergency. With these tips, you’ll be prepared for any new adventures this summer will bring.
Check out the full interview with Dr. Waters here.