Whether you’re driving across the country or just going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house, a travel safety kit can help you stay on top of your family’s health needs during your holiday travels.
To ensure you are ready to handle minor injuries and illnesses while traveling, Julia Chisholm, manager of ambulatory pharmacy operations at MU Health Care, recommends putting together a travel safety kit with these important items.
Plenty of clean water
Hydration is important, even in the winter months. Be sure to pack plenty of water for everyone on your trip.
Include doses of all the medicines your family might need. These might include:
- Prescription medicines
- Epinephrine auto-injectors
- Allergy medicines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Anti-nausea or anti-diarrhea medicines
- Antiseptic wipes or creams
- Eye drops or saline rinses
- Pain medicines and fever reducers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Carry a first-aid kit in every car you own. In addition to the medicines listed above, you might want to include first-aid items such as:
- ACE bandages
- Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
- Aloe vera lotion
- Cotton swabs
- First-aid manual
- Hand sanitizer
- Hot/cold packs
- Latex gloves
- Rubbing alcohol
- Safety pins
- Sterile gauze pads and adhesive tape
Outdoor safety gear
Outdoor gear will keep you safe if your car breaks down in a remote area. Items in your travel safety kit may include:
- Rain parkas
- Road flares
- Waterproof matches
Be prepared in case your family is unable to access food. Pack healthy, non-perishable food items in your travel safety kit such as:
- Breakfast cereal
- Dehydrated or freeze-dried fruits and vegetables
- Granola or protein bars
- Jerky or summer sausages
- Nuts and dried fruits
- Peanut butter and crackers
- Trail mixes
Emergency and health information
Your travel safety kit should include your ID and emergency information with the name and phone number of your primary care physician, your pharmacy and an emergency contact person. Also, include an up-to-date list of medications including names, strengths and instructions as well as information about any pre-existing conditions or medicine allergies.
And as you read this list and check it twice, be sure to also check your first aid kit for expired products and supplies. Chisholm recommends inspecting the contents of your kit — and replacing items as necessary — at least once a year.