Summer First-Aid Kit Essentials | Check List & Buyers Guide

by | Apr 25, 2023

Warmer weather is upon us. Memorial Day will be here soon, and school will be out before we know it. Families are planning vacations to the seaside, mountain vistas, outdoor adventures, tropical paradises, big-city lights, and more. Regardless of where you travel, preparation is key—especially preparing for possible illnesses or medical needs.

First Aid Supplies to Have in a First Aid Kit

In our CPR and First Aid class, we teach a lot about how to respond in case of First Aid emergencies, but in some cases, you need a few supplies to be able to administer that First Aid. In this list, we will talk about things you should have in order to administer First Aid. You can also get a First Aid kit that will have much of it in there for you.

  1. Gauze pads – if you have a laceration you need this to stop the bleeding. If you don’t have them, you could use any cloth or napkins you have, but gauzes work best.
    1. Another great thing to use to stop bleeding is a diaper or absorbant pad. These do a great job absorbing blood and a great thing to have nearby when trying to stop bleeding.
  2. Band aids in varying sizes.
  3. Antibacterial ointment with pain reliever.
  4. Hydrocortisone cream to help with bug bites or hives.
  5. Sunscreen to protect skin each day before outside activities.
  6. Ice pack – get a one time use ice pack that can get cold on its own in case you need to ice something without access to a freezer.
  7. Triangle bandage – in case you need to stabilize a broken arm.
  8. Stop the Bleed Kit or at least the tourniquet – this can save lives in the event of severe bleeding
  9. Gloves for dealing with bleeding and other bodily fluids.
  10. A CPR Barrier Device is another great thing to add in case you were to need to do CPR. 

Medications to Have in a First Aid Kit

Medications are also an important part of a First Aid kit, but note that you must have permission to use any medications on anyone that isn’t in your family. If you work in a childcare or eldercare facility you much have specific permission to use medications for First Aid.

Does this mean bringing entire bottles of every medicine you might need? Absolutely not! And it does not mean added expenses of going out and buying travel-sizes of over-the-counter medications. Using a small travel pill case and a small zip-top bag to create a quick Travel First Aid Kit. Here is a list of 10 items to include so that you have them when you need them instead of having to go out in the middle of the night or in the middle of nowhere to attempt to find and purchase them:

  1. Immodium – Hopefully you will not eat undercooked or contaminated food or drink any contaminated water. But, if, by chance, you do, it will serve you well to have Immodium on hand to take to calm your stomach and intestines.
  2. Pepto-Bismol – See above. This will also be helpful if you have issues with nausea, upset stomach, indigestion, or heartburn, as well.
  3. Dramamine – This is invaluable for anyone who suffers from motion sickness, who is traveling by water during a vacation for the first time, or who may be visiting a theme-park during your trip and suffer from motion-sickness on rides.
  4. Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) – These medications are good for easing mild-to-moderate pain (headaches, toothaches, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, etc.) and reducing fever.
  5. Antihistamine (Benadryl) – This medication can assist with any allergy symptoms from seasonal allergies, pollen, mold, etc.  
  6. Any prescription medications either in prescription bottles, or, if traveling by plane, bring copies of prescription information from your pharmacy if you are carrying them in other bottles or containers. If you have allergies, a very important prescription to carry with you is your EpiPen or epinephrine device.

Tips for Traveling With Medications

One thing to note: If you are traveling by plane, it is best to travel with any prescription medications you must take daily in your carry-on luggage. Make sure that all medications are in their prescription bottles.  The TSA will allow you to bring any liquid, gel, or aerosol prescription medication you need for your trip—but only an amount that is reasonable for the length of your trip. All prescription medication that you have in your carry-on luggage must be declared at the TSA checkpoint and you may be subject to additional pat-downs by security. However, carrying your medications this way is suggested because luggage may be delayed and there are instances in which prescription medications have been removed from checked luggage.

No First Aid Kit Is Perfect

This is just a beginning list—you may think of other items that are specific to you and your family. Tailor your “travel aid kit” to you. Just keep it specific to what you need and small enough not to take up too much room in your luggage. Bringing your entire medicine cabinet defeats the purpose!

Summer travel—or travel any time of year—brings with it myriad adventures and memories. Planning ahead and preparing for possible illnesses or emergencies can make the down time small in comparison to the time spent having fun. Equipment is just one part of being prepared—you also need the knowledge. Sign up for one of our online or in person CPR and First Aid courses here to be as prepared as possible for any CPR or First Aid emergencies this summer might throw your way. If you prefer, you can also just take First Aid by itself here.

About First Response

First Response provides CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety training to clients across Georgia and South Carolina for over 23 years. We believe training should be relevant, informative, and fun! Feedback from our clients consistently shows that they not only enjoy our classes, they learn something new–even for folks that have taken the class many times before.

Contact us to book a class for your facility, or sign up for a class here.

About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Beth Hardy</a>

Beth Hardy

CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety Instructor

Beth Hardy has been with teaching CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety with First Response since December 2009. She is also the Title III coordinator for Aiken County Public Schools as well as being a Mom which gives her a unique perspective on education which is displayed in her articles.

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