Tips and Tools: Summer first-aid

Every summer, families enjoy the wilderness in cottages or while camping. You can have a safe and enjoyable holiday with your children if you pack a summer first-aid kit. Read on for must-have items in your kit. Print off this checklist and enjoy a safe summer holiday!

For cuts, scrapes, or injuries:

  • Bandages of various sizes
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Gauze pads
  • Mole skin for blisters
  • Water-proof adhesive tape (hypoallergenic)
  • Small sharp scissors to cut tape, bandages or cloth
  • Safety pins to fasten bandages
  • Instant-activating cold packs for icing injuries and burns (most are disposable)
  • Tweezers to remove foreign objects from skin
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infections
  • Small bottle of rubbing alcohol
  • Tensor bandage

Insect bites, poison ivy, and sunburn:

  • Calamine lotion to relieve itching from insect bites
  • Pure aloe vera jelly to relieve itching and/or sunburn
  • Sunscreen with sun-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15
  • Fast-acting antihistamines (i.e. diphenhydramine) to relieve allergic reactions from food or insect bites
  • Syringe filled with epinephrine (EpiPen or AnaKit) for adults or children at risk of anaphylactic reactions
  • Baking soda and/or colloidal oatmeal baths (such as Aveeno) to treat poison ivy (note, before going on a camping or wilderness trip, you should know how to recognize the leaves of the poison ivy plant)
  • Insect repellant containing DEET


  • Pain and fever relief such as acetaminophen, ASA or ibuprofen
  • Thermometer
  • Cloth as necessary for cold compresses
  • Remedies for motion sickness such as dimenhydrinate (Gravol®), indigestion (i.e. antacids), and diarrhea (i.e. loperamide (Immodium®)
  • Several full bottles of water and extra empty bottles (note: if you're camping or hiking, make sure you know beforehand if the available water is safe to drink. You may need to purchase purification devices, either water pumps/filters or tablets to make drinking water safe). Remember to drink extra water to prevent dehydration and overheating.
  • Salt tablets for oral rehydration
  • Surgical gloves
  • First aid manual and CPR instruction card
  • Hand sanitizer or wet wipes

Remember to check the expiration date of all products in your summer first aid kit every year. And keep a list of all medicine allergies for each family member.

Learn more about First Aid