A Doctor’s Travel First Aid Kit

Packing up for your summer vacation? If you are driving and have the luxury of a bit of extra space, you may want to consider packing a first aid kit to take with your family. If you already keep one in your car (hello, fellow soccer/dance/volleyball moms!) then let this be your reminder to pull that kit out of your car, CHECK EXPIRATION DATES, and replenish all your used up supplies.

What’s in my kit? A handful of medicines have earned their way into my ever-ready first aid kit. Here is my top 10 list:

  1. Ibuprofen- for headaches, muscle aches, fevers or menstrual cramps.
  2. Tylenol- to supplement the ibuprofen if the ache or fever is severe.
  3. Antacid tablets (TUMS or Rolaids)- still the fastest relief from heartburn/stomach acid.
  4. Hydrocortisone cream (steroid such as Cortaid)- for anything that itches (bug bites, allergic skin reactions.)
  5. Triple antibiotic cream- for cuts/scrapes (after washing with water.)
  6. Bandaids- the GOOD kind that really stick, with specifics for knuckles, knees, and most commonly, HEELS (for those blisters!)
  7. Benadryl tablets- for an intense allergic reaction to food, stings, etc; also may be used to help nausea.
  8. ACE wrap- handy to limit swelling of a sprained ankle, knee or wrist.
  9. Aspirin- honestly, I only keep this in case an adult has symptoms of a possible heart attack.
  10. Imodium- I do NOT recommend this to stop infectious diarrhea (so do not take if you have a fever), but if you get a “nervous stomach” with the thought of flying, driving, or simply being cooped up in a car with your relatives, consider this medication to calm down your bowels.

BOTTOM LINE: These few basic first aid supplies should get you through 99% of the illnesses and injuries that crop up on your trips. Remember the creams may count as “liquids” so slip them into your airline-specified ziplock baggie if you are flying!

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