When you’re on summer vacation, the last thing you want is to deal with an injury. If something unfortunate does happen, having a well-stocked first aid kit can help you treat the small things quickly. In most cases, any small injuries will fit into one of three categories: something is bleeding, swollen or itchy.
To prepare for each of these incidents, keep the following items on hand:
- Cuts – keep a clean kitchen towel, band aids, an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin, gauze squares or strips and tape (although duct tape will work in a pinch!). Use the kitchen towel to apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding while you prepare the band aids and ointment. For odd shaped or larger scrapes and cuts, use the gauze to cover the injury. If the cut is wide or more than an inch long and won’t stay closed with a band-aid, it’s important to consider visiting an urgent care.
- Swollen areas from a fall or impact– keep an empty plastic zip bag. Add ice cubes to the bag to use on the swollen area. If you can’t put weight on the injured area you should see a physician to see if an x-ray is necessary.
- Rash, allergy or bug bite – keep antihistamines, such as Benadryl or Claritin, and cortisone cream in your first aid kit. If you have an allergic reaction and you can’t stop wheezing, get help as soon as possible. In most cases, bug bites and rashes can be treated at home using hydrocortisone cream to help with the itching.
Many of these conditions can be safely self-treated, and a well-maintained first aid kit allows you to take care of a variety of conditions efficiently. If you are seriously injured or aren’t sure how to treat something, don’t hesitate to seek prompt medical care. Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of healthcare providers dedicated to providing proper treatment to patients who have experienced a common summertime injury or health condition.
Dr. Laura Murray is an urgent care specialist with Cone Health Urgent Care at MedCenter Mebane. Dr. Murray received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 1994. She completed her residency in internal medicine at The Ohio State University Department of Internal Medicine in 1997.