With a few weeks to spare before the start of the traditional 2007 festive season, it is time to invest in a sufficiently stocked travelling first aid kit.
"Having proper first aid gear and medicine readily available can spare you and members of your family major discomfort during long hours on the road, or in the case of inaccessibility to medical or emergency services," says Douglas Defty, Director: Pharmacy Services at Medi-Clinic.
"A first aid kit is at its very least a comfort box, providing you with everyday medication that you may need in the event of minor ailments or injuries," he says.
ER24 suggests the following checklist that covers medical gear and medication that should be included in your first aid kit.
- Safety pins
- First aid dressing
- Two or three rolls of bandage
- Eye pad
- Triangular bandage
- Pack sterile gauze swabs
- Assorted plasters
- Burn wound dressing
- Antiseptic wound cleaner
- Rubber gloves
- CPR mouthpiece
- Sterile water (for eye or wound flushing)
- Anti-nausea and anti-diarrhoea medication
- Anti-spasmodic (for tummy cramps)
- Eye drops (for refreshing eyes)
- Antacid tablets
- Antihistamine cream
- Antiseptic cream
Defty offers the following advice for when travelling: “Do not drive whilst taking cold or flu medication, as these may cause drowsiness and impair your reaction time. Also, if entering a malaria area, do take precautions and anti-malarial tablets. Malaria is a killer – do not play around with it.”
Defty advises to seek the latest malaria advice from your local travel clinic.
Stock your wallet
Money isn’t the only thing your wallet should contain; always ensure that your wallet is stocked with the following items:
- Proof of medical aid membership and your membership number.
- Information on any allergic conditions you or your family members may suffer from.
- Specific health conditions, for example Diabetes Mellitus.
- The name and telephone number of your family doctor.
- The names and contact numbers of next of kin who should be contacted in case of an emergency.
- The name of your preferred hospital.
(Magna Carta, November 2007)