First aid while travelling can go a long way to putting your mind at ease. Leaving home with a baby for the first time on a quick errand can bring on anxiety. But going on holiday with a baby for the first time, especially if your destination is far from civilisation, takes anxiety to a whole new level! What if your baby gets ill? Runs a fever? Or has diarrhoea? What if your toddler has an insect bite or cuts themselves badly?
As the old girl guide motto goes – Be Prepared! Pack yourself a kick-ass travelling first aid kit that goes everywhere with you. Just don’t forget to check and replenish it before long trips and of course, remember to pack it!
First aid while travelling: what to pack?
My guiding principle for stocking a first aid kit for travelling is to go from top to tail. Use the following guidelines to be prepared for anything:
Pain & fever
Take a Paracetamol syrup with you, such as Calpol or Panado. Also worth taking is Paracetamol based suppositories, in case your baby is vomiting and can’t keep oral medication down. You also need a thermometer to determine if your little one has a fever.
Use the painkiller you have taken and then get your little one to the doctor as soon as you can.
If your baby has an eye infection or trauma to the eye while you are away, wash it out with saline eye drops. Get to a doctor as soon as you can to have it checked out.
Congested or runny nose
Decongestants are not recommended for children under 2 years of age unless prescribed by a doctor. So for snotty noses and blocked upper respiratory tract – the best thing is a good quality Saline Nose Spray. Even if the snot turns green – it is not an indication of a bacterial infection necessarily. If your baby is not running a fever or coughing, just keep going with the Saline Spray.
A red and inflamed throat is most probably viral but will lead to lack of appetite due to pain. Treat with the Paracetamol you have taken and see a doctor if it persists.
You should see a doctor if your baby has a cough. Cough mixture is not typically recommended for babies under 2 unless prescribed by a doctor. I would recommend a homeopathic cough soother for older toddlers.
The main principle is to keep your little one hydrated so a good rehydration solution is essential. Anti-vomiting and anti-diarrhoea medication should only be used on advice from a doctor and thus only taken in the first aid kit in circumstances when you are too far to get to a pharmacy.
Insect bites and allergies
In the case of an allergic reaction or a bite or sting, infant appropriate anti-histamine is useful. Calamine lotion or Anthisan are great topical treatments for bites and stings.
In case of cuts and bruises the following should form part of a good first aid kit while travelling:
- Syringe for giving meds
- Rescue Remedy drops
- Cotton wool
- Alcohol swabs
- Antibiotic ointment
- Burn shield for burns
- Plasters in various sizes
- Gauze bandage – non sticky
- Micropore or similar adhesive tape
Be sure to have what you need on hand while travelling. It’s one small way to ensure you will get the rest and relaxation you are looking for.