Several items might be of value in your home first aid kit due to remoteness of location and characteristics of the location. Good quality kits are available through Red Cross at very reasonable price.
CH is a hive of activity and as such outdoor pursuits are common.
Management of superficial grazes and cuts: adequate supplies of warm soap and water with a antiseptic to soak the affected area in. Good old fashioned iodine is a great cheap antiseptic, but some individuals are allergic in which case chlorhexidine is a good alternative. Non stick dressings and adequate bandages are required. (Don’t under estimate the value of a soak in a Dettol bath).
Management of wasp and bee stings goes with the CH territory. There are many ideas on relief of the pain that accompanies the sting. For local measures: ice is useful to reduce swelling and taking an antihistamine tablet. Other measures that can be helpful are cotton wool ball soaked in vinegar. Other remedies which some claim to be of value are toothpaste, or even turmeric!
For those unlucky enough to be Very Allergic with severe systemic reactions that include: tightening of the chest, swelling of mouth and tongue, nausea or vomiting, then it is MANDATORY to have your own supply of Epipen. The sooner this is administered the better the outcome. Very close monitoring and medical assistance is required for those severely affected.
Eye issues with outdoor activities can be more than troublesome. An eye wash and drops of sterile saline and an antibiotic eye drop is very helpful. NEVER put a steroid drop in the eye unless you have very specific instructions from your medical practitioner.
General sprains and tired legs respond well to rest and Panadol. Icing and elevation of affected area is helpful. Use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory ointment can be beneficial. Remedies such as Deep Heat have their place and can provide symptomatic relief.
Fever in children needs to be treated as in urban areas. Panadol, fluids if you are worried about your child, then return to town and get medical advice.
High UV light exposure can lead to sunburn. Prevention is way better than cure. Cloudy days still lead to a lot of UV penetration. Don’t be fooled.
- Bandages especially non adherent type, bandages and tape to secure
- Sling to immobilise body part with fracture or strain
- Ice packs
- Topical anti-inflammatory ie Voltaren Gel or Deep Heat
- Anti-Histamines ie Claratyne or chlorphrenamine
- Panadol tablets or capsules for adults and syrup for children and infants
- Normal saline plastic ampoules and eye bath
- Clear Eyes or equivalent
- Acyclovir cream for cold sores
- High UV barrier cream for skin and lips (high UV promotes cold sores)
- Antiseptic like Dettol or Savlon liquid and cream
This list is not meant to be comprehensive and reflects my personal views.
Dr Sue O’Malley
10 April 2012