Summertime comes and goes so fast, and sometimes all the outdoor fun can lead to cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises, as well as bug bites, stings and rashes. Be prepared with a well-stocked medicine cabinet so you can easily treat what might come your way.
To help you get ready here is a list of essential items to have on hand, so you can spend your summer having fun and not stressed by all the craziness that summer can bring.
- Antihistamines – Used for stings, bug bites, hives and other allergic reactions (if of the anaphylactic type, seek medical attention). These over-the-counter medications can also be great treatments for seasonal allergies. Some examples are Benadryl, Claritin, Alegra to name a few.
- Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen – Over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol and Advil can be helpful for common aches and pains due to accidents, injuries and even vaccinations or surgical procedures. For muscle soreness or joint pain consider using topical creams made with menthol. For bruise-related injuries try an arnica-based cream such as our Zax’s Original Bruise Cream to help heal the pain and inflammation.
- Anti-itch Creams – There are many creams and ointments used topically to relieve itching from bug bites, stings and rashes due to poison ivy, poison oak etc. These range from hydrocortisone ointments to creams made with natural ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal and tea tree oil which is found in our Zax’s Original Bug Bite and Itch Cream.
- Antibiotic Ointments - It's important to have on hand an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment for minor cuts and scrapes. To avoid infection, make sure to clean the wound with warm water or use an alcohol spray or wipe prior to applying any cream or bandage.
- Sun Protection – The only way to avoid sunburns (other than staying indoors) is to use sunblock with at least 30 SPF and apply it often especially before and after swimming or water activity. Don’t forget to apply even when sitting and enjoying a patio meal, at sporting events or while out doing yard work. Apply to your ears, neck and lips too. To soothe sunburns, have aloe-based gels or creams on hand.
- Bandages – Band-Aids, medical tape and gauze are basic first aid needs to treat minor cuts and scrapes. You can even buy bandages that already contain an antibiotic pad and gauze strips with strips of tape attached.
- Tweezers – For removing splinters and ticks a good pair of tweezers is a staple. Before use, make sure to sterilize them by running under hot water or wiping the tips with an alcohol swab.
Consider keeping a first aid kit in your car - Pre-made store bought first aid kits include small packages of basic first aid needs. Make sure you get one that is stocked with bandages, gauzes, tape, small scissors, tweezers, alcohol wipes, and antibiotic ointments. You can even add some of the essential items listed above and you’ll always be ready when on the go. Consider putting all your first aid needs in a backpack so you can take it along with you on all your outdoor adventures.
Beyond your first aid kit: When to go to see a Doctor – If the injured person seems to have a broken bone, has bleeding that can’t be stopped, a high fever, loss of consciousness, chest pain, or breathing problems, seek medical attention.
Written by Alyssa Rolnick, Co-Founder of Zax’s Original Products, Registered Dietitian and Mother of 3 active kids.