10 Must-have Items for Your First Aid Kit When Camping with Kids
Guest post by Camping Mom
When you go camping with kids, make sure your first aid kit has these 10 must-have items.
Responsible campers know the importance of having a camping first aid kit, and experienced camping parents know that when kids are involved there are some first aid items that are more important to have on hand.
Camping first aid kits can be large -including everything from band-aids to scalpels, to small personal pocket packs that have just the very basics, but for camping with kids – make sure yours has at least these 10 must-have kids first aid items.
Speaking realistically, if you are camping with kids, you are probably going to be within a reasonable distance to some sort of medical facility, whether it is a hospital or campsite first aid post, and that’s where you should go for serious injuries, but most kid’s camping injuries are too minor to need that.
Injuries like; minor cuts, scratches and scrapes, minor burns, bee stings and bug bites, blisters, and rashes are the most likely kid’s first aid needs.
Many times just calming an injured child, or letting them see that something is being done to fix their hurt is as important and effective as the actual first aid treatment.
For instance; a minor bee sting is going to hurt, get red, and possibly swell for a few hours, and then get better all by itself. There isn’t much you can, or need to do to change that, but the tearful camper with the bee sting doesn’t understand that, and wants you to fix it and make it stop hurting now. A cooling squirt of Bactine is just what the doctor ordered. It cools the area, it’s an antiseptic, AND it’s action. Probably the most important part for the bee-stung camper to see.
With that in mind, here is the list of 10 must-have first aid items that you should make sure are in your first aid kit every time you take kids camping.
Note: Most of these items are available at local dollar, or discount stores, and these are the recommended sources for the best prices, (grocery and drug stores are usually the most expensive sources), but an Amazon link has been provided for each item -in case you don’t have local store access, and for reference information.
Amazon Promotion: Free Shipping for eligible orders over $25
*Note – all shopping links are my own Amazon affiliate links – which I only use to recommend good-quality camping gear – Gus
- Hydrogen Peroxide or Antiseptic Wipes: Cleaning minor wounds and injuries is the first step in first aid treatment.
Hydrogen Peroxide is the recommended choice for kid’s cuts, scrapes, and scratches for two reasons; the foaming cleaning action not only does a good job of cleaning the area, but it also fascinates young kids and will many times take their mind off of the hurt for a moment. For tender areas, it is less abrasive, (ie. less painful), than using antiseptic wipes, which are the second choice for cleaning injured skin areas.
- Antiseptic Sprayand Ointment A soothing cooling spray of Bactine, (or a generic brand), does wonders for the hurts of minor scrapes and scratches, or bee stings and bug bites. it does the double job of providing antiseptic protection and cooling visual action – the two things the injured camper needs most for these injuries.
Most of the minor injuries you used the Bactine for should have a Triple Ointment, like; Neosporin, applied before you bandage them. Some, like; minor cuts and deeper scratches need the benefits of the ointment more than a spray.
- Burn creamor Aloe Vera Minor burns, (like grabbing something hot from the campfire), only need a few minutes cooling flush with water, (not COLD), to remove some of the immediate heat from the skin, and a medicinal barrier, like a burn cream or Aloe Vera, before bandaging.
Many first aid practitioners now recommend an Aloe Vera gel over traditional burn creams. An additional plus is that Aloe Vera is also good for severe sunburn treatment.
- Moisturizing eye drops: A speck of debris in their eye is one of the most disconcerting minor injuries kids can get when they are camping. It’s almost impossible for them to resist rubbing them, which makes it worse, and getting them to stand still and cooperate while you do an eye flush is almost impossible too.
A few moisturizing drops from a recognizable bottle of eye drops is a much easier way to try to flush out the debris and sooth the eye.
**Sterile lubricating eye drops are the first choice -redness removal eye drops, like Visine, will work, but many times their ingredients cause an initial burning feeling that will have your young camper screaming that it hurts more.
- Assorted Cloth Band-aids: An assortment of assorted cloth band-aids is essential when you are camping with kids. Regular band-aids just don’t hold up to the rigors of a camping environment like the cloth ones do, and don’t go for the cheapies here, you need the sticking-power of a quality product. NexCare by 3M makes a good product for this.
Sometimes all your little camper needs is your attention and the mental effect of having a band-aid put on it, and the need for assorted sizes is obviously due to the assorted range of possible cuts, scrapes, and scratches.
- Elastic stretch bandages: Elastic stretch bandages can be “real lifesavers” for the twists, pulls, and sprains that come with active kids and camping. Tree-climbing, rock-jumping, and stream-leaping activities often lead to minor twists or sprains that just need a little support from the compression of an elastic bandage.
Adding to the first aid benefits provided by elastic bandages, they also act as a “badge of courage” that will help young campers forget about the pain -a little anyway.
- Camping Tweezers: At least two pairs of tweezers are recommended; one fine-point for splinters and bee stingers, and one broad-point for things like thorns and tick removal.
**Because it is too easy to squeeze or twist the tweezers wrong when you are using them to remove a tick -leaving the tick head still embedded in the skin, a tick removal cup or spoon, like this “Ticked-Off” tool is highly recommended, instead of tweezers.
- Pepto-bismol Anti-nausea: Don’t let “My tummy hurts.” catch you empty handed. Pepto-bismol, (or generic brand), relieves: heartburn; indigestion; upset stomach; nausea; diarrhea.And it’s pink and doesn’t taste horrible.
Important: As with any medicine taken internally – Read and follow the label directions. Reye’s Syndrome: Children and teenagers who have or are recovering from chicken pox or flu-like symptoms should not use this product.
- Oral antihistamine: Such as Bendadryl, (or generic brand) -relieves symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy throat, and watery eyes -all common allergy symptoms, but it can also be a very important preventive medicine to combat allergic reactions to things in the camping environment until you can get better medical assistance.
Important: As with any medicine taken internally – Read and follow the label directions.
- Hydrocortisone cream: Hydrocortisone cream (1%) is an anti-itch remedy that is perfect for bee stings and itchy bug bites. When the immediate sting or bite pain is gone, it’s still going to itch – be prepared with this anti-itch remedy.
Effective relief of itches and rashes due to: bee stings, insect bites, poison ivy, rashes and other skin conditions like; eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic and dermatitis
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- Poison Ivy, Oak, Sumac, and Camping with Kids – Know what to look for, and what to do.
Bad Weather Survival Ideas for Camping with Kids:
Bad Weather? Kids confined to the tent? Save your sanity – be prepared with these games and activities to keep them occupied.
The links are for individual products, or the all-in-one bad weather kit. (as pictured)
Notes and discussions:
Here are a few items and resources that may prove helpful:
Of all the camping books available to tell you how to do this or that, none have been around as long, as tested, updated, and revised to reflect new knowledge as the official Boy Scout Handbook.
Consider how ideal it is for camping with kids:
- It is devoted to outdoor activities for and about kids!
- It is extensive in its coverages, and is written to be understood by kids and adults alike.
- Its camping first aid section is more appropriate, and situation-specific than any other book on the market. (an opinion of course)
Author’s Note: This book isn’t bring touted here to get an affiliate commission from an Amazon sale, Amazon does have it, but if you check half.com, (not an affiliation), you can find it for only a couple bucks! If you go camping with kids -this book really should be included in your camping gear on every trip.
It is handy and helpful for experienced outdoor campers, and is especially useful to new campers. A Boy Scout handbook contains easy to understand answers and how-to’s for almost any camping question. Plus, it contains plant and foliage identifications, campsite activity suggestions, survival tips, and detailed primary first aid instructions.
Boy Scout Handbook
If you are camping with young kids, and there are no on-site bathrooms, (or they are a mile away), a camp potty is almost a necessity. First because when little kids have to go, – they have to go now! Also treks outside the “safety zone” of a lighted camp site after dark is not something most young kids want to do. This camping toilet is one of the more easy-to-use, and stable ones I have seen.
Portable Camp Toilet
Check out these great examples of camping gear items you can find on Amazon. Once you have these pieces of camp gear included in your list of camping equipment, you will wonder how you ever did without them. Especially when you see how inexpensive they are when you buy them online at Amazon.
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