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Top 5 Summer First Aid Kit Essentials

By (view all posts by SavingsIQ)
at 6:56AM Tuesday May 3, 2011
under Shop Smarter

The temperatures are rising which means that summer is right around the corner. Time to break out the shorts, skirts, tank tops and sandals. But alas, having fun in the sun comes with precautions. The last thing you want after a fun day at the beach is peeling the blistering skin off your back.

I've compiled a list of five summer first-aid essentials to get you ready for lazy summer days and hot summer nights.
Sunscreen: This is the most important product you should be stocking in your summer supplies. Actually, it should already be in your bathroom since the sun is above us year round. Make sure you use one that has an SPF of at least 15 or SPF 30 if you burn easily. Use an amount that fills up a shot glass for your entire body and apply it 20 to 30 minutes before sun exposure. Neutrogena has great sunscreens that block both UVA (rays that cause aging and skin damage) and UVB (rays that cause sunburn).  You must remember to reapply every time you get out of the water, because even though the sunscreen claims to be waterproof, it's not 100% waterproof.

Aloe Vera: What if you use sunscreen and you still get burned? Don't worry, aloe vera to the rescue. Aloe vera is a succulent plant with medicinal qualities. It is used to moisturize, soothe and heal burns and wounds. Some people also drink aloe vera juice which aids in digestion. If you happen to grow aloe in your garden, snap off a piece and apply directly to your sunburn. Otherwise, aloe gel is sold in drugstores, grocery stores or online and quite cheap. For added soothing, keep the gel in your fridge so it's cool when applied to your skin.

Calamine Lotion: The season is good for hiking and enjoying all things nature. But, beware of poison oak, poison ivy and insect bites. These afflictions cause insane itching which could drive anyone crazy. Before you scratch your skin off, apply calamine lotion to the affected area which will prevent infection. Comprised of zinc oxide and iron oxide, this pink creamy lotion can be found over the counter at your local drugstore or online drugstore. Apply daily to affected area and don't be alarmed if you skin looks dry. That's the lotion working.

Calendula Oil: If you're not a fan of pink lotion, try calendula oil. It's mixed with olive oil and calendula flower petals and is great for soothing dry skin, itchiness, diaper rash and inflammations. Calendula can be found at natural health stores or online, of course.

Bug Repellent: We love summer and so do our fellow insect friends. I'm not a fan of bugs and their bites so I always make sure to bring some repellent if I'm going to be out in their neck of the woods. You can get them in spray or lotion form. Avon even makes them in a wet towelette form so it's easy to transport. Repellents contain DEET, a yellow liquid chemical developed by the U.S. Army after World War II's jungle warfare.  It's effective against mosquitoes and ticks which can cause malaria and West Nile virus. I highly recommend stocking this valuable protectant in your bag before leaving the house.

Now that you're all ready for some fun in the sun, don't forget two other essentials: Water to stay hydrated and a hat to shade your face.

What are some of your summer essentials?