A Useful First Aid Kit for Your Holiday Trip

Summer holidays may not only be accompanied by pleasant experiences, but sometimes also by unexpected and unwelcome health problems. The range of problems that can affect travelers is very wide. That's why it's a good idea to have a properly equipped first aid kit on hand. And also a telephone with internet access, because our clients can be advised remotely by a personal doctor if necessary.

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The appropriate equipment for a first aid kit can vary considerably depending on who is traveling, where and for how long. If travelers are heading to built-up areas where there is easy access to first aid and necessary medical supplies, the equipment may not need to be particularly extensive. When traveling away from civilization, where medical care is not readily available, or to exotic countries, a more extensive kit is preferable. This should take into account the potential health risks that may be present at the holiday destination and health complications that travelers have experienced in the past and may experience again. When traveling with children, it is advisable to pack children's versions of medicines.

People who regularly take prescribed medication should first and foremost make sure they have enough of the medication they need for the duration of their holiday. And get a new prescription if necessary. Individuals experiencing health complications before going on holiday should consult a doctor or have a check-up to prevent their health deteriorating during their holiday. Alternatively, take precautionary medication to help resolve acute problems if they continue to worsen. Even people who are completely healthy should not underestimate the cost of a travel first aid kit, as an accident or acute health problem can affect anyone.    

Anyone who experiences nausea, so-called motion sickness, while traveling by various means of transport, should include in their first aid kit the traditional medicine Kinedryl, which helps when traveling by car, bus, train, plane and as a prevention against seasickness on boats. However, it should not be used by drivers as it causes drowsiness. It is useful to have a sufficient dose for the journey there and back, and for transfers during holidays. Preparations with ginger extract, which are also suitable for pregnant women, or anti-nausea lollies, sweets and chewing gum can also be beneficial.

The most common digestive problems during holidays are diarrhea, bloating, constipation, heartburn and other indigestion, which can be caused by a variety of things, such as unusual diet and unhealthy water. Activated (animal, black) charcoal should therefore be an essential part of a traveler's first aid kit, as it is effective against diarrhea, food poisoning and bloating, as it binds intestinal gauze, bacteria and toxins and helps to eliminate them from the body. For more severe diarrhea, Imodium is beneficial as it inhibits intestinal activity. To disinfect the intestine, Endiaron or Ercefuryl are suitable for 3 to 5 days. Enterol, which balances the natural microbial environment of the intestine, or the probiotic Hylak, which is also effective against bloating, constipation and indigestion, are suitable for regenerating the intestinal microflora. Guttalax or other laxatives can help resolve constipation, and antacids such as Rennie or Gaviscon can relieve stomach acidity and heartburn. For digestive disorders, Iberogast is also beneficial to improve overall digestion. In the case of diarrhea, fluid replenishment is essential, for example with powdered rehydration solutions, which are also useful for heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

A common problem on summer holidays, whether at the seaside or in the mountains, is sunburn. The best prevention is the use of good quality sunscreens with a sufficiently high protection factor as well as after-sun products. In the event of sunburn, it is always a good idea to pack a healing and soothing spray, foam, gel or cream containing panthenol or aloe vera, such as Panthenol or Bepanthen Plus, to help relieve and regenerate the skin. Fenistil gel can also help. Skin care needs to be supplemented by hydrating the body with increased drinking and replenishing minerals with mineral or isotonic drinks. If blisters appear on the skin, then this is a higher degree of burn, at which point it is advisable to use, for example, Flamigel, which soothes and relieves pain, or patches for burns. If the burn is extensive and has accompanying symptoms such as fever, rash or itching, it is advisable to see a doctor.

Minor accidents and injuries can happen easily and quickly, so your travel first aid kit should be stocked with disinfectant (Jodisol, Betadine, Septonex, 3% hydrogen peroxide or Dettol antiseptic spray for children) for cleaning wounds and plasters, bandages, gauze and a triangular bandage, small scissors, tweezers and rubber gloves. If any of the travelers are allergic to iodine, it is necessary to choose a disinfectant without iodine. Blister plasters and bandages for burns may also be useful, or URGO liquid spray plasters and HemaGel to promote wound healing. Acetate or acetate ointment is also beneficial for sprains as it will relieve sprains and bruises. An ointment or gel with anti-inflammatory effects, such as Voltaren, is also useful to relieve pain.

Being outdoors in the Czech Republic and abroad often brings unpleasant encounters with insects, whether in the form of bites from mosquitoes, wasps or midges, stings from bees and wasps or tick infestations. The best prevention is of course quality repellents, but care should always be taken when using them on children, and it is best to consult a pediatrician about the choice of repellent for children. In the case of a common mosquito bite, itching can be prevented with a cool compress or various ointments and gels, often containing antihistamines, such as Fenistil, Snow White or Psilo-balsam gels, Kosmin ointment or After Bite, which helps not only after an insect bite or sting, but also after a jellyfish sting. Most of the above mentioned products will also relieve fly bites and bee and wasp stings, and for bees and wasps, acetate cream or Urgo Filmogel in the form of a liquid covering is also used for treatment, which prevents scratching of the affected area and soothes the skin. Tea tree oil is also useful. It is a good idea to wash the bite or sting with soap and water before applying any product. If travelers are heading to areas with malaria, it is advisable to get a prescription for antimalarials just in case. To remove ticks, it is a good idea to keep a pair of tick tweezers handy and disinfect the site afterwards.

A common health complication that can make a holiday unpleasant is pain – whether it's backache, toothache, headache or even joint pain – as well as fever, inflammation or a cold that can easily arise from, for example, air conditioning. So, a travel first aid kit should not be without a durable digital thermometer and medicines containing paracetamol, acetylsalicylic acid and ibuprofen, such as Paralen, Acylpyrin, Ibalgin, Ibuprofen, Nurofen or Panadol, which not only help to reduce fever but usually also reduce pain and help with inflammation. People suffering from migraines should pack Migralgin or Migrostop, while joint pain can be relieved with Ibalgin cream, for example. Throat, cough and cold medicines such as Tantum Verde sprays or lozenges, Strepsils, Septofort, Septonex, Orofar and Nasivin cold remedies can also be a useful part of a traveler's first aid kit.  

It is not only allergy sufferers who should pack allergy products in their travel kit, as allergies can occur even in people who have not suffered from them before. Allergic reactions can occur after an insect bite or sting, after eating certain foods, but also when exposed to the sun or other potential allergens. Allergy sufferers should take medicines on holiday that they have been taking for a long time; non-allergy sufferers may find over-the-counter antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Zodac, Dithiaden, Xyzal, Claritin or Analergin, or Fenistil gel for skin allergies. The anti-allergy drug Allergodil in the form of eye and nose drops is also useful. To alleviate allergic symptoms, products with the medicinal substance cetirizine are generally suitable, which work well for allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and skin allergies. However, drivers should be wary of taking allergy medication as it can cause drowsiness.

In addition to the products mentioned above, eyewash solutions and disinfectant eye products can also be useful when on holiday to treat eye irritation that can be caused by harsh sun, sand from the beach and other factors. In these cases, Ophthalmo-Septonex drops, Ocuflash and pine water will be beneficial to soothe the eyes and relieve eye discomfort. Anti-inflammatory ear drops may also be useful. Medicines for fungal infections such as Canesten, Exoderil, Fungicidin or Clotrimazole may also be useful. Women who suffer from gynecological problems during the summer are recommended special washing gels for intimate hygiene, while acute problems can be helped with products from the Canesten Gyn range or Gyno-pevaryl vaginal suppositories. To deal with chapped lips, lip balm is a good idea and Herpesin, Zovirax or tea tree oil creams can help treat cold sores. In the era of covid-19, it is advisable not to forget gel hand sanitizer and to pack a pair of respirators just in case, as anti-pandemic precautions can change suddenly.

It is essential to tailor the contents of a travel first aid kit to the risk factors at the holiday destination and the health of the travelers, especially for children, pregnant women and chronically ill people on long-term prescribed medication. When equipping the first aid kit, it is important to consult a pharmacist about the choice of medicines in order to avoid drug interactions and to take into account allergies to the substances used in the medicines. It is important to check the expiry date of all medicines to ensure that they are not out of date. And always take them in accordance with the dosage and instructions in the package leaflet or following advice from your doctor or pharmacist. When traveling to warmer countries, attention should be paid to the recommendations for storing medicines, as some must be kept cold, so it is better to choose an alternative with a normal storage method. And it is advisable to find out in advance whether there are restrictions on the import of certain medicines into a particular country. It is often advisable to carry medicines in their original packaging or in resealable plastic bags with the original package leaflets. Long-term prescription medicines are best carried in hand luggage to avoid losing them. For special medicines, a doctor's note stating that you need to take them may also be useful. Ideally, it is a good idea to carry your entire first aid kit in your hand luggage so that it is close at hand. When traveling by air, it is important to remember that medicines in liquid form usually have a maximum volume of only 100 ml and the total volume of all liquids carried must not exceed 1000 ml. It is advisable to pack some parts of the first aid kit, such as scissors, disinfectants or repellents, in your checked baggage as they will not pass security checks. However, in addition to a first aid kit, it's a good idea to have travel insurance, as you never know what might happen while traveling. Clients of Health+ have an advantage over most travelers – if they have a smartphone with an internet connection, they can connect with our clinic's doctors via online chat and get medical advice even while on vacation.


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