Summertime brings more outdoor events, vacations and physical activities. With that fun comes an increased risk for accidents and injuries, but you can be prepared for emergencies with a well-stocked summer first-aid kit. In addition to the basics, consider adding these 7 essential items.

  1. Antihistamines for allergic reactions to stings and plants
  1. Hydrocortisone cream to soothe itchy rashes, insect bites and poison ivy
  2. Sterile tweezers for removing splinters and ticks
  3. Instant ice packs to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation from bumps and bruises
  4. Ear drops to prevent and treat swimmer's ear
  1. Aloe vera to soothe sunburns
  1. Index card with your physician's phone number and other emergency contact information

Basic first-aid kit.

Your summer first-aid kit is packed and ready to go, but are you missing any basic elements, such as bandages, antiseptic wipes or antibiotic cream? Check out the American Red Cross recommendations for a well-stocked basic kit for a family of four. That way, you'll be prepared for any minor accident or injury. Also, remember to include any prescription medications that might be needed, such as an Epi-Pen or asthma inhaler.

Beyond your summer first-aid kit: When to go to the ER.

When a pair of tweezers or an aspirin isn't enough, it's helpful to know where the closest ER is located. It's often harder to know when a trip to the ER is necessary. Here are a few signs that you should make that trip.

Go to the ER when the injured person has:

  • Mental status changes (abnormal behavior) or confusion
  • High fever that isn't responding to over-the-counter fever reducers such as Tylenol or Motrin

We hope you enjoy a safe, fun summer, but if someone in your family has an emergency illness or injury, one of our many Medical City Healthcare emergency locations has you covered. With average wait times posted online, if you do have an emergency, you can spend less time waiting and more time on the moments that matter most.

Find a fast Medical City ER near you or visit Medical City Virtual Care for non-emergency medical treatment from your computer or smartphone.

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The post Be Prepared: How to Pack a Summer First-Aid Kit appeared first on LifeSigns.