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Safety first: Essentials for your travel first-aid kit 

Don’t sleep on safety this summer and be prepared for every eventuality with NI4Kids’ guide to what should be in your travel first-aid kit 

Whether you are preparing for a holiday abroad or jumping in the car to explore NI, a travel first-aid kit should have pride of place on your packing list. Painkillers and plasters are a must but have you considered what else you might need when you’re far from home?  

Funky Plasters
Nothing calms a child down more than being able to choose a plaster with their favourite character on. A selection of ‘well done’ stickers will also have the same effect. Also, on the plaster front, it is worth stocking up on some cushioned blister plasters as holidays often bring with them the perfect storm of new shoes and lots of walking. 

 Rehydration sachets
Always check the pack for individual advice, but rehydration sachets can be suitable for children aged 1+ and are a lifesaver when it comes to sickness bugs and even mild dehydration as a result of heat exhaustion. 

If your child suffers from hay fever it goes without saying that you probably won’t be crossing the front door without antihistamines this summer, however, they also treat a wide range of allergy related reactions ranging from insect bites to rashes from food intolerances, and even conjunctivitis. 

Sterilising tablets
Cold-water sterilising tablets may bring back unwanted flashbacks from when you were knee-deep in sleepless nights and endless bottle washing, but they make a fantastic addition to any first-aid kit, especially if you are planning to travel to a country where the drinking water is unsafe. The brand leader ‘Milton’ shouldn’t be used for sterilising drinking water but can bring you added protection when washing out kids’ eating and drinking utensils. Water purification tablets can also be purchased if you are concerned about teeth brushing as they kill most bacteria within the water source. 

Diarrhoea Relief
There’s nothing worse than an upset stomach while far from home, Imodium which is the brand name for Loperamide, has a liquid solution for kids aged between six and 11 which can help stem the problem until you speak to a pharmacist.  

Scissors and safety pin
In the case of larger scrapes, scissors can be used to cut gauze bandages and plaster tape down to size. Scissors can be a welcome tool in fashioning a make-shift sling out of a t-shirt and safety pin, and very occasionally, an injury may require clothes to be cut to expose the wound. Hopefully you won’t need scissors for any of these more severe scenarios, but they can also come in handy for snipping labels off of new clothes! 

Similar to having an upset tummy, constipation is an uncomfortable symptom that can come on quickly as a result of a change in diet. The NHS states that children under three have a high risk of constipation due to all the fluctuations that occur during weaning and potty training and, when travelling, the add-on of unfamiliar food and likelihood of eating fewer fibre-rich foods is a recipe for stomach ache.  

Summer holidays conjure up images of children running barefoot along beaches, poolside, and on decking, creating the perfect recipe for splinters and other nasties getting into the sole of the foot. The pain can be excruciating and tweezers aren’t something that every corner shop stocks, so it’s best to be prepared in this instance.

Instant Cold Pack
A wet paper towel will always suffice when in a pinch, but a disposable cold compress will provide effective relief for minor head injuries, strains, and sprains. They can also help soothe pain caused by headaches and manage the discomfort of painful sunburn. 

Speaking of sunburn, we all know the importance of sun care when, not only when it comes to ourselves, but especially our kids. Even if you don’t burn, aftersun can help replenish moisture levels in the skin which can be depleted through exposure to UV light. There are plenty of aftersun brands available to purchase but an alternative is aloe vera gel which can help soothe and cool both sunburn and other minor burns. 

If you’re planning any boat trips, or even prolonged car journeys this summer then you might be in the market for anti-sickness solutions. Dissolvable tablets can be purchased from pharmacies for younger children, and patches for over 10’s. Travel sickness bands use acupressure to restore the balance of negative and positive ions in the body and can be effective for children from the age two. Not all solutions are a guarantee however, so it’s best to test a few to find out what is best for your family.