When going on holiday, getting sick or injured may be last in your mind but. Particularly when traveling with kids, a first aid kit should feature prominently on your vacation packing list. Having a first aid kit can help you to be prepared for anything you might encounter on your holiday and one that is well-stocked can help you to stay happy and healthy and avoid unnecessary doctor’s fees.
What you put in your first aid kit often depends on where you are going, for how long and what activities you plan to undertake. There are some basic items, however, that should be packed regardless of where you are going that will enable you to deal with non-urgent medical situations.
Adhesive bandages of various shapes and sizes, disinfecting wipes and antibiotic gels can handle simple scratches and scrapes. Bring cotton balls for cleaning out cuts and include disinfecting wipes and antibiotic lotion to prevent infections in dirty cuts, even after they have been washed, as an additional precaution.
Tweezers are also useful for taking out a splinter of wood or a small stinger. Scissors should also be included.
Over-the-counter medications such acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin are also essential in a first aid kit for fever control and pain relief. Benadryl or other medication for allergic reactions are other useful items as are cold and flu medications and motion sickness medications and devices. With regard to prescription medications, particularly those that are taken routinely by members of the family, make sure you have enough for your trip and ask your general practitioner for refills if you think you will run out while on holiday. This is particularly important if you are unsure of the availability of a pharmacy where you are going and what the availability and quality of medical care might be. A first-aid kit is a good place to store a list of emergency numbers along with your medical insurance information.
If you are planning outdoor or adventure holidays there are some additional items you might want to consider for your first aid kit. These can include sunblock of various strengths and types; insect and mosquito repellent; ointment for sunburn; cream for insect bites; and a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Hiking trips should include extra water, electrolyte drinks and protein bars or sugar candies to help maintain stamina and items in case of injury should include ace bandages as well as light elastic and crepe bandages; sterile gauze and wound dressings; alcohol wipes;sports strapping tape; safety pins; and a triangular bandage for making a sling.
Holidays to destinations off-the-beaten path where water and food standards are different from your own often require extra items in your first aid kit. In these cases you should consider adding anti-diarrhoea medication; stomach settling medication and antacid tablets; high altitude medications; anti-nausea medication; anti-malarial medications; and strong pain medications.
The contents of your first aid kit should be packed in a waterproof container with a lid that fits properly, such as zippered plastic bag, an old lunch box or a Tupperware container. You can also purchase first aid kit containers from your local pharmacy. If you already have a first aid kit from your last holiday, go through its contents to make sure that everything in it is still safe to use. Look at expiration dates and replace those items whose dates have passed.
Hopefully your first aid kit will not be needed while on holiday but it is always best to be prepared. Having the right contents in your first aid kit for travel will definitely help out should anything go awry.