Building a First Aid Toolbox for Summer

child playing at the beach

It’s nearly summer! Time for fun at the beach, the playground and the ball field… and unfortunately, also time for bug bites, cuts, scrapes and sunburn. To make sure your children enjoy summer as safely as possible, stock your first aid toolbox so you’re ready for anything summer can dish out. Keep it in your car so it’s always available and consider stocking separate kits for each family vehicle. If you haven’t checked your kit recently, be sure you have plenty of the most-used items, like adhesive bandages, and that none of the medications have expired. Replace and replenish as necessary.

Starting from scratch? We’ve put together a list of things to keep stocked and handy. Naturally, if your child has special medical considerations, such as severe allergies or a chronic illness, you’ll also want to make sure you’re equipped to handle those situations. Check with your doctor if you’re not sure. Ready-made first aid kits are available too. Check to see what items are included, and be prepared to add items as needed.

Start with this list and customize to fit your family’s needs:

  • Gauze, tape, adhesive bandage assortment
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Benadryl
  • EpiPen (for those with a history of severe allergic reactions)
  • Extra prescription medications, such as an inhaler, where needed
  • Ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen. (If you have a child young enough to require liquid, make sure you have it in that form, along with tablets for older children.)
  • Dramamine
  • Sunblock
  • Bug spray
  • Hydrocortisone ointment
  • Baby wipes (handy for quick clean-ups for any age)
  • Lip balm
  • Alcohol wipes
  • ACE bandage
  • Small scissors
  • Tweezers

Get a New Lease on Life with Lifeline

The Lifeline service at Culbertson Memorial Hospital takes “phone a friend” to new levels and puts help at your fingertips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

“It has nothing to do with getting older and everything to do with putting your mind at ease,” says Program Coordinator Donna Walters. “It doesn’t matter your age. We even have a 9-year-old who can use it if he needs to get help for his Mom.”

Maybe you’re suffering from multiple sclerosis, but your spouse is still working and not at home with you. Or you’re a 101-year-old great aunt who still lives in her home. You may be recovering from surgery or simply a concerned relative. Whoever you are, Lifeline is here for you. “It helps when you realize it’s not just for you – it’s also for your family and for your own peace of mind,” Walters says. “They need to know you can get help even when they’re not there.”

Having help at hand is as simple as wearing a wireless pendant or wristband. The push of a button connects you to a highly trained Lifeline associate who accesses your profile and gets you the help you need fast. “So often I hear they don’t want to bother people,” says Walters. “They don’t want to bother their families; they don’t want to bother Lifeline at two in the morning. But that’s why they’re there. Think of it as giving people a job, by paying them for a service.” You need them, and they need you.

The service is currently available in Schuyler, Fulton, Cass and Brown Counties but will go wherever it’s needed. Part of Lifeline’s beauty is its convenience – you can wear it anywhere, even out of the house, and it automatically reconnects when you’re back at home. Give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind today. No doctor’s order is required; simply call 217-322-5259, to learn about the various options and to set up your Lifeline today.

Could it be allergies?

Girl with tissue

If your child seems to have the never-ending sniffles all spring, you might begin to wonder if the real problem could be seasonal allergies.

Warmer weather tends to signal the end of the most intensive cold season, but if your child has a cold that seems to go on and on, the problem may be more than a cold.

As many as 40 percent of children have hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis. If one or both parents have allergies, their children are more likely to develop them as well, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

How to tell if it’s a cold or allergies? If your child develops cold-like symptoms every year at the same time, you should suspect seasonal allergies, according to kidshealth.org. Some of the common symptoms to watch for include sneezing, itchy nose, itchy throat, nasal congestion, coughing and itchy or watery eyes. Clear nasal discharge is more often a sign of allergy, while a thick yellow or greenish discharge is typically a cold. Some children will also have wheezing and shortness of breath, in which case their allergies may have triggered asthma.

Seasonal allergies usually develop by the age of 10 and peak in the early 20s. Symptoms may disappear at some point in adulthood.

The FDA suggests keeping children with seasonal allergies inside when pollen counts are highest. In the spring, pollen levels are usually highest in the evening. Sunny and windy days are especially difficult for pollen allergy sufferers. Keeping the windows closed in your home and vehicle and running the air conditioner can help.

If symptoms are especially troublesome and over-the-counter medications are not enough, see your healthcare professional so your child can be tested to confirm whether allergies are the culprit. Newer drugs are available to offer relief and without causing the extreme sleepiness that was common with previous medications.