Your Summertime Medical Supplies List

As Summer approaches, it's a good time to stock up on those medical supplies that are typically needed in a hurry. Don't wait until you suddenly need them. You won't feel like going to the store to buy them at that point. So get ahead and get prepared. Stock your medicine cabinet up today and be ready for Summer.

Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac

For many people, warmer weather means more time outside.

Getting back to nature heals the body and the soul, but beware of those parts of nature that can give you an itchy rash.

Helpful Medical Supplies:

  • Calamine lotion
  • cold compress
  • Your doctor may recommend or prescribe antihistamines or prednisone

Scrapes and Cuts

More time outdoors for kids especially means more time running and playing on the playground. Good stuff, for sure, but the more they climb the more their chances for skinned knees do too.

Helpful Medical Supplies:

  • Bandages and band aids of course
  • Many people think hydrogen peroxide and/or alcohol are primary tools to clean a cut. Not so. In fact, it's simple water and mild soap. The hydrogen peroxide and alcohol can actually damage the skin and slow the progress of healing.
  • Antibiotic ointment, covered by a band aid, will keep the wound moist and protected. This is the optimal environment for healing. 
  • For more advanced wound care, check out first aid supplies or minor procedure kits. These will be administered by trained medical professionals.

    Skin Protection from the Sun

    The Sun's harmful ultraviolet rays magnify in the Summer months. While many skin care experts recommend wearing sun screen with at least an SPF of 15 all year round, this becomes especially important in the Summer. SPF protection defends against not only sunburn in the short-term but also skin cancer in the long-term.

    If you do get a sun burn, aloe and other natural remedies are a great natural and low-cost remedy for soothing the skin. 

    Insect Bites

    Bugs come out more in the Summer time too. Mosquitoes not only cause itchy bites that when scratched can become infected, but they also sometimes carry potentially fatal diseases like dengue fever and West Nile virus. Stock up on insect repellent and cover up as much skin as you can bear to when you go outdoors, especially during and after dusk.

    Ticks are another bothersome bug that can be harmless, but sometimes may carry lyme disease. Find repellent that specifically has a claim to defend against ticks.

    Bee stings, as long as you are not allergic to them, will mainly just cause an itchy sensation after the initial pain from the sting. An oral antihistamine will help reduce the pain, itching, and swelling.

    Chiggers will cause welts too, and are especially good at latching on to bare ankles and calves. Over the counter ointments can take care of the itching to help you keep from scratching them.

    This is important because scratching them raises the chances of the welts becoming infected.

    When to Seek Medical Attention

    Over the counter medical supplies are not the answer to snake bites and some spider bites. I could tell you to avoid the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider for example, but if your bit by any type of spider you may not have had the chance to check to see what kind it is. Don't mess around. It's worth a trip to the emergency room to have a snake bite or spider bite checked out. Some bites don't hurt right away and can look harmless but that's because the poison sets in slowly.

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