Dr. Waters: Making a summer first aid kit

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Dr. Laura Waters, a pediatrician at Mercy, is helping us get ready for summer safely.

With everything we need to know to make a summer first aid kit.

A summer first aid kit that can be left in the car so you have what you need when you need it on a hike, at the lake or on your summer vacation.

Here are somethings you may need in your summer first aid kit, according to Dr. Waters.

Water bottle: for treating dehydration and cleaning out wounds.

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine): first-line treatment for insect bites, hives, and other allergic reactions that can be deadly; if you have young children be sure to include a bottle of liquid, Children’s Benadryl or the generic equivalent.

Benadryl is also a great treatment for an attack of seasonal allergies.

EpiPen: if your child has a history of a severe allergic reaction and is prescribed one- always keep it on hand.

Prescription medication: you can ask your doctor for an extra supply, especially for asthma and allergies, to have in your kit

Ibuprofen and Tylenol: pain relief; remember with young kids you’ll need liquid versions.

Dramamine, nausea medication: an easy fix for vomiting, carsick kids. Don’t leave home without it. You’ll kick yourself for not having it while you clean the vomit out of your car.

Sunblock: The worst sunburns occur when you least expect it, at sports events, or while doing yard work. Have some 30 plus sunblock ready to cover those little spots on your ears and neck that your hat doesn’t cover. Include some SPF lip balm or ChapStick, too.

Bug spray: The best protection comes from a repellant that contains 30% DEET. Insect bites are annoying at best, but at worst they get scratched and infected.

Afrin nasal spray or tampons for nosebleeds: Although I generally don’t recommend Afrin nasal spray for congestion related to allergies or illness, Afrin is a quick fix for a nosebleed. This medication causes the capillaries in the nose to constrict, thereby limiting the blood flow to the nasal mucosa and stopping the bleeding. An OB-style tampon can very effectively treat a persistent nosebleed. Crazy fact: the modern tampon was invented in the 1800s for the management of bullet wounds.

Hydrocortisone ointment: 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.

Flashlight/headlamp: in case you need to preserve cell phone battery- or it already ran out- helps you get a good look at splinters, or look in kids’ mouths, ears, etc.

Baby wipes: infinitely useful in the car, especially for keeping hands clean and wiping noses.

Chapstick: soothe cold sores, lip injuries, and sunburned lips in addition to regular chapped lips.

Clean towel: useful for containing bleeding or using it to set all your supplies on as you dress a wound/injury.

Alcohol wipes: sterilize your tweezers, or use on skin to clean.

ACE bandage: sprains and strains, also useful for holding bandages in place on bigger wounds, and holding splints on fractures.

Tweezers & small magnifying glass: use these for removing splinters, also to remove bugs from ears, fishing hooks from fingers, etc. Of note, tweezers are NOT the best way to remove a tick—tweezers often cause you to remove the tick body and leave the head in the skin. The best way to remove a small deer tick is to scrape it off with a credit card.

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