Summer First Aid & Travel Essentials

Enjoying the outdoors and summertime go hand in hand – whether enjoying your back garden at home, exploring the outdoors or on a holiday.

From time to time, accidents and minor injuries can happen so it’s best to be prepared with some first aid knowledge and a first aid kit so you can soon be on your way again!

A well-stocked first aid kit can travel with you wherever you go, and give you everything you need. 

Here are our top recommendations for your first aid kit

  • Small pair of scissors to cut bandages, dressings and tape
  • Medical tape
  • Bandages & sterile dressings (assorted sizes) and safety pins to hold bandages in place
  • Plasters (assorted sizes)
  • Blister plasters
  • Antiseptic wipes, spray or a cream like Savlon to clean the wound
  • Burn gel (eg Medicare Burn Gel)
  • Ice spray for pain relief from sprains and strains (eg Deep Freeze)
  • Paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain relief and reducing a fever
  • Antihistamines for hay fever or bug bites (eg. Cetrine)
  • Tweezers to pluck out splinters or pieces of glass
  • Digital thermometer to check for a fever

When travelling it can also be helpful to have medications for rehydration, stomach bugs and digestive issues, for example Dioralyte, Oral Rehydration Salts or Phizz and Imodium.

Remember to keep an eye on the expiry dates of everything in your first aid kit to make sure it’s in date and will work properly. For example, sterile dressings past their expiry date can allow infection into the wound.

Treating common injuries and ailments

Cuts & scrapes

Some of the most common injuries for children and adults alike are small cuts and scrapes. They can bleed and hurt a little, but with the right first aid items to hand can be easy to deal with.

Firstly, ensure you wash and dry your hands (and wear surgical gloves if available) – you’re then ready to clean the wound.  This can be done with some antiseptic wipes, a spray or cream.  When the wound is clean, cover it with a plaster – this will help to keep it clean and avoid infection.

For slightly more serious wounds, and those that bleed a bit more, a sterile gauze dressing is recommended.  A bandage can be used to provide additional protection over the dressing.

When choosing a dressing – select one that is slightly bigger than the wound.

If a wound is severe, seek emergency medical assistance as soon as possible

Insect bites and stings

When an insect bite breaks the skin, our body recognises the insect’s saliva as a foreign substance causing our immune system to respond. The immune system produces histamine, which increases blood flow and white blood cell count around the affected area, causing inflammation or swelling. The histamine also sends a signal to the nerves around the bite causing it to itch.

With mosquitoes, midges and ticks prevalent over the summer months, it’s not uncommon to experience stings and bites.

There are certain steps you can take to prevent bites and stings and treat them when they occur:


  • Protect yourself by using an Insect Repellent (eg Medicare or Jungle Formula Insect Repellent Sprays)
  • Do not wear any strong-smelling perfumes or scents
  • Wear light-coloured clothes so ticks or other bugs are visible
  • Cover your arms and legs when walking through grassy areas or camping
  • Cover the back of your neck and if you have long hair, tuck it in


  • Make sure the sting, tick or hair is removed if still in the skin
  • When removing a sting, scrape it out sideways with your fingernails or a hard edge – avoid pinching the sting with tweezers or your fingers and this can spread the venom.  Tweezers or a tick removal tool can be used to remove ticks.
  • Clean the wound to avoid infection
  • Apply a cold compress (a cloth cooled with cold water) or an ice pack for at least 10 minutes to help reduce swelling
  • Use an Insect Bite & Sting Gel or cream to help soothe any itching (eg Anthisan or Medicare After Bite Relief gel)
  • If you have multiple bites, an antihistamine can help with swelling (eg Cetrine)
  • Don’t scratch the bites as they can become infected

If you are stung or bitten in the mouth, throat or near the eye, or if symptoms don’t improve after a couple of days, seek advice from a healthcare professional.

If experiencing a severe reaction call 999 for an emergency medical assistance.