Every outdoor enthusiast know that there is always the risk of hurting yourself during a camping or backpacking trip. And when kids are around, you’re sure to have more than one scrapes or bruises. When packing your gears and equipment always remember to put in your first aid kit. But what should be in your kit? Here are the ten essentials that should be in any first aid pack especially when you’re camping with your kids.
- Cloth band-aids in assorted sizes – Cloth band-aids are a lot better in outdoor camping environments than the vinyl ones. They flex and hold better, they stick better when wet, and they also allow the skin under the adhesive to breath better. And if you are camping with more than one kid – have an extra box.
- Elastic stretch bandage wraps – like the popularly recognized “Ace” bandages. Right behind cuts and scrapes, twists and sprains are the most common kids camping injury. An elastic stretch bandage is just what the doctor ordered – for two reasons; (1) it’s what is needed for the injury, and, (2) many times the most important first-aid for kid’s injuries, is just some attention, and something to show for it. A stretch bandage can not only support the injured area, but can also be the “badge” of courage a young kid needs.
- Anti-nausea medicine – like Pepto-Bismal, or a generic equivalent. Too many S’mores, hot chocolates and other goodies could make this a real must-have item. When you need this – you really need it.
- Oral anti-histamine – This can be especially important for reactions to bee stings, and it also works for itching from serious rashes. Benadryle or it’s generic equivalent is a popular choice.
- Hydrocortizone cream – Another remedy for the itch of severe bee stings and bug bites. The agony of the itch can last long after the initial pain of the bite or sting. A good 1% hydrocortizone cream can give the relief young campers need to get on with their adventure.
- Moisturizing eye drops – Getting a speck of debris, or a branch in the eye are very common camp injuries for kids. Usually the best, (and recommended), treatment is to flush the eye, but have you ever tried to get a young crying camper to stay calm enough for you to use an eye wash cup? Moisturizing eye drops are your next best choice. NOT “red-eye” removal eye drops – they contain astringents that can briefly burn and sting.
- Anti-septic ointment – A triple anti-septic ointment, like Neosporin, is in most first aid kits, just make sure yours has it because it’s important for any cut or scratch that breaks the skin. Even more so when you are in an outdoor camping environment. There are also triple ointments-plus that contain a mild pain reliever.
- Aloe vera or burn cream – Again, most camping first-aid kits will have a burn cream, but the best choice to have is an Aloe Vera gel or spray. It’s a natural remedy that really works.
- Hydrogen peroxide – Cuts and scrapes need to be cleaned, and hydrogen peroxide will do it much better and easier than those little sanitizing wipes. Sometimes you even get lucky and the sight of the foaming action will take the young one’s mind off the injury for a moment.
- Camping tweezers – Two pair, one fine point for digging for splinters and such, and one broad point for things protruding, like bee stingers.
Always check that these first aid kit essentials are included in your pack. Never forget to remind your kids the importance of safety first. Let them also be familiarized with your first aid kit and how to use them. It is good to keep a close eye on them but still allowing them to have lots of fun. Happy camping!
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