Summer Solstice is June 20th 7:09pm for those of us in the Pacific Northwest. This is the Sun’s longest day and Summer has just begun. Filled with trips to the beach, sunny skies (finally, right?) and hopefully some lazy days. Summer is a time for families to get together, go on adventures and create some lifelong memories!
When I was a kid and we went camping, my mom always had a great first aid kit on hand. I loved looking through the various creams and remedies, my love of healing coming through. I was fascinated by a rattlesnake bite kit my mom had. I secretly hoped one of us would get bit so we could use this thing, but it never happened…
I was talking to one of my clients, who is a mom, about some things I always like to have in the car when we travel, like Arnica, Advil, basic first aid stuff. Then we were talking about sunscreens, she was saying how confusing it all was. I decided to blog about a Summer Health Guide including my favorite first aid remedies. This is a great reminder for myself as we get ready to do some road trips, camping and travels I want to make sure I have all of this on hand in the car. As an added plus, if the Mayans are right and the world is coming to an end as we know it, I’ll have my survival gear all ready! Of course, I live with a Wilderness First Responder w/ MERT training so I have learned a lot from him combined with my Massage Therapy knowledge, here’s what we know:
Summer First Aid kit:
Injuries, bruises, muscle pain:
Arnica either Traumeel cream or Boiron brand cream + tablets.
Natural Aromatherapy Insect Repellent:
Made of Citronella, lemongrass, lavender, ginger in a base of pure water, aloe, vitamin E and witch hazel, available as a spritzer we are calling “don’t bug me!” in our store
I always seem to attract mosquitoes (my friends love camping with me because the mosquitoes always go for me & leave them alone!) This is the only combination I have found to keep bugs away. Avoid the toxic bug sprays that contain DDT, a toxic neurochemical, I can’t believe anyone would spray that stuff on children…The nice thing about this aromatherapy spritzer is even if you forget to use it initially and do get a few bites (I usually don’t think to put it on until after I’ve had the first mosquito bite me) this blend feels soothing on bitten, scratched skin unlike the toxic sprays that can sting scratches.
It’s featured in our Store!
Sunblock vs. Sunscreen?
So confusing right? There has been a lot of talk about the difference between Sunscreen & Sunblock…
Rumours that sun block can prevent Vitamin D intake, which we desperately need in the Northwest…
Dr.OZ show recommended Mexoryl sunblock, which has been getting a lot of positive press. UVA rays have a longer wavelength than UVB rays, so they go much deeper into the skin, which causes wrinkles and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Normal sunscreen does not protect against UVA rays. As the name implies, it is a screen, not a block, so it lets a lot of harmful rays in. No wonder they haven’t worked for all of us! They only work to protect against UVB rays that cause sunburn, but do not prevent long-term damage from sun exposure.
Some sunscreens contain Oxybenzone, Titanium Dioxide that does block a small amount of UVA rays, but you literally have to coat it on so strong that your whole face would be bright white! Mexoryl is the only product on the market that can actually protect you from all UVA rays. La Roche-Posay has the U S patent for now so they are the only brand to buy. I’d say my face & my child’s skin future is worth it!
You can order Mexoryl Sunblock at the bottom of this blog…
I have also learned that the FDA is cracking down on sunscreens that say they are waterproof because they have found that doesn’t test out, so don’t fall for that, sunscreen either washes off or becomes ineffective when swimming or immersed in water. Reapply often, too.
Even with the best Mexoryl sunblock, you might get sunburn in Summer (especially if you are from the Northwest & you have 8 months of winter with three months of getting out to get your solar battery charged!)
Aloe Vera is the #1 go to for sunburn! Slather it on generously, it is an affordable remedy which you can even grow in your home.
Benadryl can be used for allergy attacks of course, but is also a good one to keep on hand in case of an allergic reaction to bee sting, mosquito bite, etc. I remember camping one time when a mosquito bit the one area I hadn’t sprayed with Citronella, my eyelid! It swelled up like a baseball within minutes, but thanks to Benadryl I was able to control the swelling.
Burt’s Bees Rescue Remedy amazing healing for bug bites, scrapes, scratches.
Blisters: Moleskine pads & blister band aids can save the day & keep you hiking! These are such life savers, especially if you have hiked in camping and you have to hike out with a big blister.
Pain: Advil or Tylenol. I find Advil relieves swelling much better than Tylenol so if the pain is related to swelling use advil (like in tooth pain or swollen muscle).
Butterfly band-aids are the best for stitching together an open gash. These can be huge lifesavers! I still remember getting a huge gash in my knee from a skating incident that involved falling w/ a glass of soda in my hand, somehow a huge piece of glass gashed opened my knee. The Doctor recommended butterfly bandages instead of stitches.
A good assortment of sizes bandaids is always good to have on hand.
Other good to have on hand items:
• hand santitizer
• cotton balls & Qtips
• eye wash cup
• Emergen-C for rehydration
• Chocolate for blood sugar
• Space blanket (metallic heated blanket)
• tourniquet bandage
• Biohazard bag
• Ginger candy for car sickness or nausea
• Aqua Water Treatment Tablets
Matches- if you get a tick bite & the tick is embedding in you, you can use a heated match (not on fire of course, light, blow out & then..)place heated match on the tick and it will back out. Matches are great for starting fires, never know when you’ll need to do that!
Aqua water treatment tablets
Book: Backcountry First Aid & Extended Care
Be safe & have fun this Summer! And don’t worry if you’re sore you can always get a massage &/or Reiki…
Here is a link to many of the things you may want to stock up on for Summer, including Mexoryl:
Tags: Aloe, Arnica, boiron, butterfly bandage, citronella, first aid, first aid kit, ginger, injury, lavender, lemongrass, Massage, Meroxyl, Natural Aromatherapy insect repellent, summer health guide, summer solstice, summer solstice 2012, sunblock vs sunscreen, Sunscreen vs sunblock, tick bite, traumeel, uv rays, UVA, UVB, weds. 6/20 summer solstice, wilderness responder training, witch hazel