Monday, June 21, 2010

Preparing Your Summer First Aid Kit

The calendar says it's June 21st which means that it is officially the first day of summer.  It's hard to believe it is possible when we are still wearing our raincoats in the middle of June. 

Nevertheless, perhaps if we prepare for summertime, it will finally arrive.  Recently, author Georgia Lund wrote an excellent blog post about preparing a summertime first aid kit.  In her article, she identifies the seven S's of summer injuries to prepare for as you are updating your first aid kits.  These are definitely worth sharing with everyone.

Scrapes On Knees and Elbows
Children are more active on bicycles, skateboards and other wheeled toys during the summer. Combine that with a wearing a summer wardrobe that covers less skin and it's a recipe for minor scrapes on knees, elbows and other exposed body part. Prepare the summer first aid kit with various sized adhesive bandages, gauze pads and adhesive tape to cover the scrape and keep it clean.

Scalds from Hot Water
The hot summer sun heats any standing water and rubber garden hoses left outside. Children who jump into a kiddie pool that has water in it and been sitting out in the sun or who turn on the garden hose and squirt water on themselves or others may be subjected to minor hot water scalds. Stock some non-stick Telfa pads in the summer first aid kit to cover the scald area and keep it clean.

Stings from Insects
Summer insects abound, many of them have stingers, and the likelihood of coming into contact with a stinging insect is high. Be prepared by stocking the summer first aid kit with antiseptic topical spray to stop the pain and itch at the sting site, oral antihistamines like Benadryl to stop swelling and itching plus a hydrocortisone cream to stop inflammation. Include a pair of tweezers in the first aid kit also to remove any imbedded stingers or ticks that have attached to the skin.

Sprains And Strains
The increased activity level during summer will result in minor sprains and strains. Ace elastic wrap bandages will take care of most of the minor sprains and strains that occur during the summer. Include varying sizes of elastic wrap bandages in the first aid kit to be prepared for children or adult sprains and strains.

Splinter Removal
If there's a splinter around, a child's hand seems to find it. Tweezers are a must for splinter removal. Also include a safety pin and alcohol wipes for disinfecting the splinter entry point and the tools used in the removal.
Summer Sunburn
Painful sunburn can occur even on cloudy days and the summer first aid kit should contain a soothing Aloe Vera gel or lotion for instant cooling of sunburn pain. Add a soft cloth to the first aid kit too to wet and use and use a cool compress to help relieve sunburn pain.

Check your first aid kit today and see if you are ready for each of these scenarios....and perhaps, we will soon have the need to exercise this level of preparedness here in the Pacific Northwest!

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