Travel first aid
Travelling with children can be a wonderful adventure. But packing everything that is needed while you are away from home can be a challenge.

A simple First Aid kit is a must for all families going on holidays.

It should contain all the necessary equipment to deal with simple medical problems, or until further assistance can be organised.

The following is an outline of the basic minimum requirements:


1. Equipment

  • thermometer
  • scissors
  • splinter forceps (tweezers)
  • small torch and replacement batteries

2. Bandaging

  • Bandaids of varying sizes
  • 2 crepe bandages – one small, one large
  • nonstick dressings eg Telfa
  • micropore tape
  • triangular bandage (sling)

3. Solutions

  • Antiseptic
  • Stingose
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellent

4. Medicines

  • Panadol or Nurofen
  • antihistamines (in case of bites, stings or allergic reactions)
  • Gastrolyte (for fluid replacement from vomiting and diarrhoea - black current flavour is popular and also comes in plastic tubes to make iceblocks)

5. Small writing pad and pen

6. Waterproof bag

  • to house all of the above
  • the toiletries bags from cosmetic give-aways are fabulous for first aid bags.

All of the above items are available from your local pharmacy.


Every parent should be able to administer simple first aid and have basic resuscitation skills - these can be life-saving. Courses are available on a regular basis through St John Ambulance. They also sell simple First Aid kits and First Aid manuals.


If you are planning to travel to a remote location, or overseas, see your GP for advice before embarking on your adventure as international destinations may require vaccinations. Remember, full courses sometimes require a number of injections over a period of several months, so seek advice early. A GP can also advise if you need documentation for medications you are taking with you. Travel to remote locations may require items in addition to the basic kit outlined above.


If your child suffers from any chronic illness, eg asthma, epilepsy, eczema, make sure you have adequate supplies of their routine medications and a contingency plan of what to do if they have an exacerbation.


And if your child suffers from motion sickness, always have car sickness tablets in your kit eg Junior Dramamine, Travacalm.

When it comes to travel medicine and families, the old boy scout adage definitely applies…BE PREPARED.