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First Aid for Traveling Families

A family first aid kit is a holiday essential

You have to be prepared for all sorts of boo-boos, oopsies, ouchies and yucks when traveling with kids. Scrapes, sniffles, stings and splinters don’t stop happening just because you’re away from home – in fact, they can happen even more frequently because of all the stress, excitement and unfamiliar territory of travel.

And it’s not just the kids you have to worry about – you need to be able to take care of the adults in the family, too, so they will be able bodied to take care of others.

A family first aid kit is an essential bring-along when taking a trip. It doesn’t have to be fancy – an old lunchbox, make-up bag, plastic container or zip-top will do. Just make sure it’s water resistant and is kept away from the children. Small travel-sized bottles and packages of first aid supplies are readily available, so you can have all the essential supplies on hand without weighing you down too much.

Here’s a comprehensive checklist of items to consider for your family first aid kit (note that any medications for children should be approved by your doctor and only administered in doses appropriate for the age of your child).

  • Adult pain/fever reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
  • Infant or children’s pain/fever reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
  • Thermometer
  • Adult anti-nausea medication (such as Dramamine or Gravol)
  • Children’s anti-nausea/motion sickness medication (Dramamine and Gravol are available in chewable, liquid, tablet and suppository formulations)
  • Adult anti-diarrhea medication (such as Imodium or Pepto-Bismol)
  • Children’s anti-diarrhea medication (children’s formulas of Imodium or Pepto-Bismol are available)
  • Oral rehydration solution (Pedialyte is a good one for children)
  • Adult cough and cold medicine and lozenges
  • Children’s cough and cold medicine and lozenges
  • Tissues
  • Adult antihistamine or allergy medication (such as Benedryl)
  • Children’s antihistamine or allergy medication (such as Children’s Benedryl)
  • Antiseptic ointment (such as Polysporin)
  • Antibacterial gel (for waterless handwashing)
  • Adhesive bandages/plasters in a variety of sizes
  • Adhesive tape and gauze pads for larger wounds
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Insect repellant (don’t use DEET-based products on children under 2)
  • Anti-itch ointment for bug bites
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Cream to sooth sunburn
  • Petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
  • Tweezers and needle for splinters
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Nasal aspirator for baby
  • Teething aids (Hyland’s tablets, Orajel, teething ring)
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you need
  • Small flashlight
  • Swiss Army knife
  • First aid booklet


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