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Don’t let your holiday be ruined by illness or an accident. Be prepared – carry a well-stocked first aid kit.

Everyone’s excited! The bags are packed and you’ll soon be leaving for your family holiday. But don’t forget the first aid kit packed with the essentials.


Headaches, fevers, or muscle pain can spoil your holiday. Your kit should contain ibuprofen and paracetamol. Ibuprofen is a non-steroid pain reliever that also treats inflammation. It’s suitable for children over three months and weighing more than five kilograms. You can give Paracetamol or pain children over two months old. Don’t give these together and check with your doctor if they’re suitable for your child, especially if given with other medication. For treating sore muscles and aches, use an anti-inflammatory.

Sore tummies

Take remedies for tummy ailments like stomach aches, cramps, diarrhoea or nausea. Probiotics are a good way to maintain a healthy digestive system, especially after a bout of diarrhoea or a course of antibiotics. Speak to your doctor about whether you need probiotics and the right dosage for you and your family. Pack rehydration solutions as well. These are useful for restoring electrolytes and treating dehydration.


For treating stings and bites, have an antihistamine cream, syrup or pills. Antibiotic cream can also help prevent infection of cuts or bites. Rashes, itches or jellyfish stings can be soothed with calamine lotion or Aloe Vera gel . Pack an insect repellent that’s safe for use near children. If you or your child uses an epinephrine pen, ensure it is packed and within easy reach.


Preventing burns is the easiest solution – pack Cansa-approved UVA and UVB sunscreen and practise caution when it comes to hot water, campfires and gas. If burns do happen, you’ll need burn dressings. These come pre-packaged in a variety of sizes. You can use burn gel or Aloe Vera gel to soothe minor burns and sunburn. Don’t break blisters caused by a burn and don’t put ice, ointments, butter or other ‘remedies’ on a burn.

Plasters and bandages

Don’t forget bandages: strip bandages, triangular bandages, elasticated rolled bandages and gauze dressings are essential. Pack plasters, especially waterproof ones for swimming. Spray on plaster is handy for grazes and cuts on joints or fingers. Include Micropore – it’s a versatile plaster that can be used on deeper cuts when you can’t get a wound stitched straight away. Pack sterile wipes for cleaning cuts, stubbed toes and grazes.

Find more first aid kit essentials here.


  • A thermometer.
  • Tweezers and a pair of scissors.
  • A cold pack.
  • Disposable latex gloves.
  • A syringe and medicine spoons.

Must-have meds

Finally, pack any cold, cough or prescription medication you need. Read the medical leaflets provided to check age-appropriate dosages. Replace anything that’s expired or about to run out. If you’re unsure of anything, consult a doctor or pharmacist.

Tamlyn Vincent