Summer First Aid Kit Checklist

So your family’s summer plans are all coming together – vacation, camps, family reunions. Is your first aid kit stocked accordingly? A handful of ailments and injuries are fairly common in the summer and your go-to first aid kit might not be prepared to handle them. They include:

  • Sunburns

  • Ticks

  • Chiggers

  • Infected bug bites

  • Poison ivy/poison oak

  • Splinters

  • Car sickness/sea sickness

  • Other injuries that accompany summer fun like broken bones, eye injuries, cuts, and scrapes

Stay ahead of the game this season with this essential summer first aid kit checklist:

Sunblock – sunburns don’t just happen at the beach but when you least expect it like on a hike or at an outdoor sporting event. Have backups of sunblock and lip balm in your first aid kit with an SPF of at least 30.

Numbing spray/lotion – soothe painful sunburn with numbing spray or an aloe vera-based sunburn cream. Numbing spray can also help relieve pain associated with minors cuts and scrapes too.

Nausea medication – don’t head out for a long car trip or a boat cruise without nausea medication and Dramamine in tow. Nipping an upset stomach in the bud can help prevent major cleanup later.

Insect repellent – mosquitos come out in full force during the summer so prep your kid, whether they are doing yard work or heading to camp, with bug spray that will really keep the bugs away. Experts recommend using an insect repellent with at least 30% DEET in it to prevent unwanted bug bites that could get infected.

Ice packs – your child could benefit in more ways than one from an ice pack. A reusable ice pack for back pain, for example, can help tend to an acute muscle strain while disposable ice packs can be used on the go to help keep cool in extreme heat.

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) – antihistamine tablets or liquid children’s Benadryl can help relieve itching and other symptoms associated with seasonal allergies, insect bites, and allergic reactions like hives and rash.

Anti-itch cream/spray – on that same note, a topical anti-itch aid like hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion can also provide relief to kids who just want to scratch at poison ivy rashes, insect bites, etc.

Tweezers – if your first aid tweezers have made their way out of your first aid kit, make sure to put them back in there. A good set of tweezers is essential for removing painful splinters and pulling stubborn ticks of your kids (and the pets).

Sports drink – a backup of Gatorade or other electrolyte-rich sports drink could come in handy if your child is dehydrated or experiencing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Eye drops – time spent outdoors, in the pool, and at the beach can leave eyes a bit parched and reactive. Keep allergy eye drops on hand for quick relief of dry, red, watery, or puffy eyes.

You’ll want to restock any basics that are missing as well including wound care supplies (scissors, sterile gauze, wound solution, medical tape), elastic bandages, pain relievers, alcohol wipes, anti-diarrheal medication, rubber gloves, Band-Aids, and antibiotic ointment.

Additional Considerations

You may also want to include these important items with your first aid kit:

  • Prescription back-ups – don’t get caught on a family trip without enough of you or your child’s prescription medicine (especially EpiPens!)

  • Clean towel – a clean towel may be just what you need to wrap a wound or safely dress one when you are out and about

  • Water – stock extra water bottles to both make sure your family is hydrated as well as potentially use them for cleaning off wounds, burns, bites, etc.

  • Headlamp/flashlight – make sure you know how to use the flashlight feature on your smartphone or pack a small flashlight with batteries in the event you need extra light

  • Magnifying glass – getting a better look at a splinter or insect bite could require the up-close perspective only small magnifying glass has to offer

  • Antiseptic wipes – clean off dirty hands and other contaminated surfaces (like in the car on long trips) with antiseptic wipes or baby wipes

  • Ziplock bags – you never know what you might need to store on your summer adventures – a tick you pull of your child, a tooth lost on a camping trip, you get the idea!

If you’re wondering where the best place to store your first aid kit, most moms say “in the car” because it is accessible at home and you will always have it no matter where you go.

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