Whether classes are going to be virtual, in-person or both, if your child is heading to campus this semester it’s more important than ever to make sure they are prepared to take care of themselves in case of an illness or medical emergency.
In addition to filling out all the necessary medical and insurance forms , one easy way to help them get ready is making or buying a fully stocked first aid kit for their dorm or apartment.
Here’s a list of all the items you should include and what they can be used for:
Acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.) and/or ibuprofen (Motrin, etc.)
Acetaminophens like Tylenol can help ease pain or reduce a fever. Ibuprofens like Motrin will do the same but are better for reducing inflammation.
Topical antibiotic cream can be applied to wounds to help stop the growth of infection causing bacteria.
Cough or cold medicine
Whether it’s a liquid or in pill form, cough and cold medicine can help reduce common symptoms like cough, congestion and runny nose.
Eye drops can be used to relieve irritation from sun, wind or other environmental factors. They can also be used to flush eyes out if something gets in them.
Hydrocortisone cream can be used to ease itching from bug bites, stings or rashes from poison ivy or other plants.
Peroxide can be used to clean and disinfect wounds.
MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
Elastic bandages can be used several ways including wrapping an injury to reduce swelling, holding a bandage or ice pack in place, or as a tourniquet to stop bleeding.
Use antiseptic wipes to clean wounds or wipe and disinfect your hands.
Adhesive bandages in various sizes
Bandages can be used to cover wounds and scrapes. Keep various sizes to accommodate all wounds, including butterfly-shaped bandages that hold two sides of a wound together.
Cotton balls can be used to clean cuts and scrapes or apply peroxide, alcohol or creams and ointments.
A digital thermometer is a quick and easy way to check your temperature. A high temperature is often a sign of illness.
Disposable masks can help protect you or the person administering the first aid from illnesses like COVID-19. They can also protect you from contaminants in the air incase of a disaster. It’s also a good idea to keep a disposable CPR mask to safely deliver rescue breaths during a cardiac respiratory arrest.
Disposable, non-latex gloves
Gloves can help protect both the person providing the first aid and keep the wound clean. They can also be used to clean up any blood or bodily fluids from the injury. Because some people are allergic to latex, it’s best to keep a non-latex option.
Gauze pads and/or rolls
Gauze can be used to stop bleeding or to cover a wound. Include various size pads or a roll to accommodate wounds of different sizes.
An alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol can be used to disinfect hands prior to administering first aid or after coming in contact with blood or bodily fluids.
Instant ice packs
Sprains, bruises and bug bites or stings can all benefit from being iced. Instant ice packs get cold only when they are activated making them a great option for a first aid kit. Keep several as they are only good for one-time use.
Medical tape can be used to secure gauze pads and cover wounds.
A pulse oximeter, or pulse ox, measures your oxygen saturation level, or the oxygen levels in your blood. A reading of 95 or higher is considered normal. Anything 92 or less may indicate a deficiency in oxygen reaching tissues in the body and could require immediate medical attention.
Rubbing alcohol can be used to clean and disinfect wounds or other surfaces.
Scissors can be used to trim gauze pads or medical tape or cut away clothing that needs to be removed. Curved medical scissors are the best option.
Tweezers can be used to remove splinters, stingers and even ticks.