Summer first-aid checklist


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This year’s very active allergy season might have made you realize that your at-home first-aid kit isn’t prepared to deal with the ailments of the warmer months. In addition to that decongestant, be sure you’ve got the supplies to deal with these common summer boo-boos:

Poison ivy: After washing away any remnants of the rash-causing plant, rub on cortisone cream or calamine lotion or take an oatmeal bath or antihistamines to ease the itch.

Bee stings: Head to the kitchen cabinet for this one. Baking soda is a good remedy for bee stings.

Spider bites: Clean the bite two to three times per day until it’s healed, and deal with the pain: A cold-pack may be enough, or supplement with ibuprofen.

Ticks: Have tweezers at the ready to pull ticks out from the base. Clean the bite with rubbing alcohol and then monitor it for several days for signs of Lyme disease.

Swimmer’s ear: Unlike a standard ear infection, swimmer’s ear is accompanied by redness and itchiness. Use over-the-counter swimmer’s-ear drops, but see a doc if the pain persists more than 24 hours. And keep those ears out of water — with ear plugs, for example — for several days.

Cuts and scrapes: Slow the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean cloth. Clean out the cut with water, apply antibiotic ointment, and cover with gauze and medical tape or a Band-Aid.

Sunburn: Keep the burn cool (with a dampened towel, for example) and moisturized with aloe or lotion. Avoid sunburn treatments with alcohol or benzocaine, which can irritate the skin further. Take aspirin or ibuprofen for pain if necessary.

Your kit should include:
• Cortisone cream or calamine lotion
• Antihistamines
• Baking soda
• Cold compresses
• Tweezers
• Rubbing alcohol
• Antibiotic ointment
• Gauze
• Medical tape
• Bandages
• Clean cloths
• Ear plugs
• Aloe or lotion
• Aspirin
• Ibuprofen
• Antihistamines
• Swimmer’s-ear drops