The Essentials for a Summer First Aid Kit

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Impact Urgent Care advises on the items most important to have in a first-aid kit.

Scrapes, bumps and stings seem to happen at the most inopportune times. This summer, it is important to have a good first-aid kit that has all of the must-have essentials to deal with unexpected emergencies. Whether starting with a store bought kit or one that’s put together at home, Linda Ratner, RN of Impact Urgent Care recommends the following items people will want to have with them at all times, and other items to pack for activity-specific excursions.

“If you’re going to be exercising or playing outdoors, for example, make sure you pack a good broad spectrum sunscreen. If you’re hiking, bug repellent and medications for allergic reactions should be in your kit,” said Ratner.

Here are the basic items Ratner recommends for every first aid kit:

For Sun protection, choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection. Look for products with Zinc Oxide, which offer the best protection available.

“Many of us think about the bright white zinc oxide creams that have been on the market for decades,” said Ratner. “The good news is there are now clear zinc oxide products that work just as well.”

If activities will be outdoors, wearing bug repellant containing DEET can help protect from insect bites including mosquitoes that can carry the potentially fatal West Nile Virus.

For bug bites and stings or minor burns, pack an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin. For added relief, consider choosing one that offers pain relief as well. For allergic reactions, include both Benadryl and Zantac (available in the antacid aisle). Each of these medications addresses different allergic reactions, should one occur; give the prescribed dose of both medications at the same time. A hydrocortisone cream can help with the itch.

For bee or wasp stings, use a plastic credit card to scrape out the stinger. Clear cellophane tape or fine tipped tweezers can be used to remove splinters.

Make sure kits also have a good assortment of adhesive bandages for cuts. Ace bandages come in handy-to-hold ice packs or splints in place.

For pain relievers, keep in mind that chewable versions and correct dosages are important for children who are too young or cannot swallow pills.

When packing a first-aid kit for summer, don’t forget about the heat. Carry a few wash clothes that can be wet and used as cold compresses at the first sign of heat stress. Powdered electrolyte drink mix (found in the powdered drink aisle at the grocery) or a product like Gu energy gel can help a person rebound more quickly.

A few caveats about first aid kits:

Do not leave medications in a hot car. The heat can degrade the medications, making them ineffective when needed.

Keep all medications out of the reach of young children.

“Your first-aid kit is your first defense about injuries that happen when you least expect them,” said Ratner. “If you’re unsure if the injury is severe or it becomes worse, seek medical attention as soon as possible. In extreme situations, call 9-1-1.”

About the company:

Impact Urgent Care’s unique approach to urgent medical and emergency care pulls from extensive emergency room experience at some of the best hospitals in Texas, combined with extensive family practice experience. Treating both adults and children for urgent medical services such as minor emergencies and illnesses, asthma treatment, headache treatment, school and sports physicals, flu shots, drug screening and more, Impact Urgent Care also offers concussion tests and therapy. The walk in clinic is located at Huebner Road, near Bitters and FM 78 and Woodlake, hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Visit their website at http://www.impacturgentcare.com.

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Linda Ratner
Impact Urgent Care
210-307-4341
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