• Second Opinion Magazine

Summer Boo Boos Fixed

By Jodi Ritsch, The Joyful Doc Circle

Summer has arrived, and that means fun road trips, backyard barbeques, and vacations to places near and far. Some of these locations, like the Boundary Waters, will have limited health care options. Summer is all fun and games until someone gets a burn, bug bite, or sunburn. Whether you are heading to the beach, cabin, or campsite, here is a list of supplies to take along on the trip.

1. Burns: if someone accidentally touches the hot stick while making a s’more, crush a tablet of ibuprofen and add a few drops of water to make a paste. Place the paste on the burn and cover with a cold washcloth for 30 minutes. Often this will prevent any blistering if done quickly after a burn.

2. Bug bites: using ice cubes or cool tea bags can relieve the itching, as well as paste made with baking soda, or a cotton ball dipped in apple cider vinegar. Even bee stings can improve with a paste made from pancake mix.

3. Sunburn: tried and true, aloe vera gel continues to work the best to cool a sunburn.

4. Tick embedded: having a special tick removing device from your favorite pet store such as Ticked Off or Tick Twister can make tick removal easy.

5. Dehydration: water is key for prevention. Electrolyte beverages can help after sweating it out on a playing field. Two liters over 2 to 4 hours is a general guideline for mild dehydration.

6. Poison ivy: over the counter antihistamines such as Benadryl or Zyrtec (cetirizine) for itching. If you prefer not to take pills, topical calamine lotion or 1% hydrocortisone cream can help prevent scratching up a storm.

A good old-fashion first-aid kit in your car to take along on all your summer adventures is always important. To build your own custom first-aid kit, start with a waterproof container. Add ibuprofen and acetaminophen for aches and pains resulting from active days. Next come the cleansing wipes and antibiotic ointment along with gauze. Vet wrap from Fleet Farm is excellent because it sticks to itself instead of your skin. You can use it with gauze in place of a bandaid. A small sharp scissors and good tweezers can come in handy for many situations. Don’t forget some fun bandaids for the little boo boos that magically are made better with the right bandaid.

Prevention is important in the summer. Sunscreen that has at least 15 SPF and preferably physical blockers, such as zinc oxide, should be applied regularly when outside. Helmets and protective gear are especially important when trying new activities such as rollerblading or driving an ATV. Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated especially in warmer weather. Use bug spray on your clothes whenever possible to minimize absorption through the skin into the body.

Enjoy the summer and soak up the vitamin D while we have plenty of sunshine!

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