Your First Aid Essentials for Summer

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It’s summer! The warm, sunny weather, hanging out by the water, outdoor activities, bug bites, poison ivy, cuts, bruises and more! Don’t let summer get the best of you––having the essentials in your first aid kit can potentially avoid a trip to the urgent care or emergency room.

Sunscreen

This seems like a simple idea but you’d be surprised at how often people find themselves in a sunny situation without skin protection. Having sunscreen in your car, home or on-the-go first aid kit can be very useful in a pinch. For pool-goers, apply water resistant sunscreen approximately 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply sunscreen often. Water reflects 100% of UV radiation making sunburn more likely when at the lake or pool.

Bug repellent

Bug bites are no fun. Mosquitoes, spiders and ticks can be a serious nuisance in the summer months. Bites are itchy and painful in some cases and can cause skin irritation, rashes and can be dangerous if untreated. Deer ticks, for example, can carry Lyme Disease, which can cause nasty flu-like symptoms such as fever, aches, fatigue and/or nausea. As a preventative, your first aid kit should contain bug spray with 10 percent DEET to protect yourself from summer insects. A cheap can of bug spray can save yourself hundreds of dollars in medical bills (not to mention saving money on itch-relief creams and sprays).

Band aids, bandages, disinfecting wipes, gauze and antibiotic cream

The outdoors can be a great place for kids to play but is also a perpetrator of many summer injuries. Scrapes, bruises, bumps and cuts are common and should be treated immediately to avoid infection. These items are extremely important to have in your first aid kit.

Anti-itch cream/gel

You can reduce itching caused by bug bites by applying anti-itch cream such as hydrocortisone. Gardeners and outdoor adventurers beware: contact with poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac can cause your skin to become itchy and irritated so be sure to keep a cream or gel on hand or in your first aid kit.

Pain reliever

It’s a good idea to keep a general pain reliever in your first aid kit, both adult and children’s strength. Aches and pains,common headaches, and even pain from sunburn can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil or Aleve.

Tweezers

Tweezers are crucial for removing bee stingers,splinters, and ticks.

Ice pack

Chemically-activated ice packs are very handy when caught outside without access to frozen peas. They do not need to be refrigerated and are small enough to fit into any size first aid kit. Cold pressure reduces swelling caused by bruises, bumps and sprains.

No matter whether you’re outside, in a pool or traveling, it is important to have a first aid kit with you at all times this summer. You never know when an accident may strike and being prepared is half the battle. If your injury extends beyond the care of a first aid product, consult a physician immediately. For more information on treating summer injuries,  contact Michigan Urgent Care today.