We have always emphasized how important it is to have a fully stocked first aid kit with you, but you may need to consider including some other items that typically may not be in a small kit.
Spending some time in the Great Outdoors this Summer? Back-packing, camping, kayaking, or bike-riding – you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Look out for Poison Oak, Rattlesnakes, Bees, Mosquitos & Ticks, Sun & Heat.
Poison Oak is all over Northern California, and you need to look for fuzzy green leaves in clusters of three and are lobed or deeply toothed with rounded tips. It may have yellow-white berries and can grow in tall clumps or long vines. To avoid contracting Poison Oak, apply a pre-contact lotion to you and the kids before going for a hike in the woods. Keep your dog on a leash to keep him away from brush and foliage. Wash off thoroughly upon your return from your outing and if you suspect you may have had contact with poison oak, use the post-contact cleanser just in case. Please read a complete segment on a past Blog titled 5 Ways to Treat Poison Oak & Ivy.
Rattle snakes tend to become more active at dawn, dusk or at night. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day. Leash your dog. Don’t let your child wear flip-flops. Don’t grab “sticks” or “branches” while swimming in lakes and rivers as rattlesnakes can swim. Watch where you step-over doorsteps, stumps and logs or piles of large rocks.
If someone gets bit by a rattlesnake, heed these instructions for what you need to do and what NOT to do:
Stay Calm and move away from the snake
Remove any constrictive clothing, or jewelry, like watches or rings.
Transport the victim to the nearest medical facility.
Keep the bitten part of the victim below the level of his/her heart to slow down the flow of any affected blood towards the heart, which would then pump the venom throughout your body.
Use a snake bite kit If available while in transit or awaiting transportation.
Do not apply a tourniquet
Do not wash with water or pack area with ice.
Do not use your mouth to suck out the venom.
Do not let the victim drink alcohol or caffeine. Instead, stay hydrated with water.
For more info on this, please call the California Poison Control @ 800-222-1222
Bees and wasps are out there too and getting stung can cause a few minutes of pain and a few hours of itching, or if you’re allergic – can be potentially, life-threatening and one should find medical attention. Here are some ways to treat a sting:
Check for a stinger and pull it out with your fingers, try “Splinter Out” or scrape it out with a credit card – reversing the direction of entry. A stinger can continue to release its’ venom for a few minutes, so do this as quickly as you can.
Apply a cool compress or ice pack to the affected area, once the stinger is removed.
Clean the tiny wound and cover it with a bandage.
You may take an antihistamine to cut down on the itching and inflammation or try applying sting kill to the affected area. Remember, this discomfort should subside within about 2 – 4 hours, if not, then you may be allergic and need medical attention.
Be picky when pitching your tent. Mosquitoes and ticks will tend to hang out near standing water and lakes, wood piles, tall blades or grass, in piles of leaves or humid, moist and shady areas. Choose a spot with a good breeze in a sunny area that is cleared of leaves and brush.
Help to prevent bites by applying a good DEET lotion or spray like Tecnu’s 10-hour Repellent or BugX30. If you do get bit, Sting Kill can help to reduce the pain and itch. Check out our past Blog for more info on how to make yourself mosquito proof.
Now that we have discussed bites and stings, let’s get on with some fun in the sun!
Lots of sun! Are you protected? Hopefully you have a favorite sun screen in a large bottle or spray, but when you don’t want to add a lot of weight to your pack or luggage, you want to bring SunX30+ with you. It is packaged in convenient ¼ ounce pouches, just perfect for your small pack. Throw a few into your pack or purse to keep you safe from sunburn all day long.
Heat and overexertion. Keeping hydrated in high temperatures is very important. Water is great but adding electrolytes to your body is essential. Excessive sweating can cause loss of electrolytes – sodium, potassium and chloride. You should never drink large amounts of plain water after profuse sweating, especially if you have already developed some symptoms of heat exhaustion. Adding more fluid to your system without also adding electrolytes might lead to a more severe electrolyte imbalance. Add those electrolytes with “Sqwincher!” Sqwincher Qwik Stick ZERO is a convenient hydration solution without the sugar or calories. One “stik” added to a 20-ounce bottle of water will replace those electrolytes lost while you sweat. It’s sugar free, Gluten free, low sodium and an excellent source of vitamin C.
Gathering or chopping wood for the campfire? Did you get a splinter? That happens all the time. We have options to help you remove that splinter. Splinter Out is a great, compact, sterile, individually wrapped tool that is great for removing a splinter. We also offer wrapped disposable tweezers, tweezers with a needle attached or even a tweezer with a magnifying glass! Read more about splinters.
ZEE wants you to enjoy the Great Outdoors, always be aware of your surroundings, take all the necessary precautions and add some of our convenient items to your first aid kit.
Most of all, STAY SAFE and enjoy your outings this Summer.
Snake bite kit
Ivy X Pre-Contact Towelettes
Ivy X Post-Contact Towelettes
Tecnu 10-hour Repellent
Sting Kill Insect Relief
Sqwincher Qwik Stik ZERO