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First-aid kit: well equipped for a worry-free vacation

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Vacations should primarily be a time of rest, relaxation and happy moments. But something can always go wrong, including your health: if you become ill when traveling, have an upset stomach or suffer a small injury, it's helpful to have a well-equipped first-aid kit to hand.

Read our guide to find out what you must always include in your first-aid kit and how best to prepare a medical pack for your trip.

First-aid kit checklist: fit and healthy for your vacation

A well-equipped first-aid kit is important, as it enables you to deal with health problems on your travels. Depending on your travel destination, you should always take the following things with you.

Basic kit:

  • Pain and fever medication
    Medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen should always be to hand when traveling.
  • Plasters and sterile dressings
    These can help you deal with small cuts or skin injuries quickly and hygienically.
  • Antiseptic
    Clean and disinfect wounds thoroughly to avoid infection.
  • Clinical thermometer
    If you have a high temperature, you can measure it accurately to find out if you have a fever.

Medication against specific ailments:

  • Travel sickness
    Preparations such as dimenhydrinate can help combat nausea when traveling in a car, on a boat or plane.
  • Diarrhea
    Loperamide, for examples, eases acute diarrhea and is particularly useful for long journeys.
  • Electrolyte drinks
    These replace fluids and electrolytes following diarrhea.
  • Personal medication
    If you take regular medication, you should make sure you have enough with you.

Protection against environmental factors:

  • Sun cream
    Protect your skin against harmful UV radiation, particularly in sunny holiday destinations. Depending on your skin type, but also the intensity of the UV rays, the sun protection factor (SPF) can vary greatly depending on the holiday destination. The effect is much stronger at higher altitudes and around midday in particular. It's best to avoid the midday sun altogether.
  • Insect repellent
    Avoid insect bites, primarily in high-risk areas with insect-borne diseases. Long-sleeved shirts and long trousers also offer a certain level of protection.
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First-aid kit for special groups and needs

When assembling your first-aid kit, you should also take account of the specific needs of certain groups. These include pregnant women, for whom the first-aid kit should contain a remedy for morning sickness as well as magnesium preparations for leg cramps and constipation. For older travelers, it's a good idea to carry enough medication for existing chronic illnesses as well as remedies for controlling blood pressure.

If you're traveling with children, you should never forget to carry fever and pain medication in appropriate dosages and form (syrup or suppositories). Other preparations in your first-aid kit should not just be suitable for adults. For example, choose a particularly high-factor sun cream that protects sensitive children's skin against sunburn.

How to store medicines in your first-aid kit

Your medicines should be stored correctly to guarantee the efficacy and security of travel medication. Here are some tips:

  1. Protect medicines against the heat and direct sunlight
    You should store medicines in a cool and dark place. Direct sun rays and high temperatures can be harmful. You should therefore not leave your first-aid kit in a car or directly on the beach in the sun.
  2. Avoid humidity and wet conditions of any kind
    Store medicines in a waterproof medication pack or container to protect them from humidity. Humidity can have a negative effect on the properties of medicines and reduce their efficacy.
  3. Store medicines in their original packaging
    It's best to store medicines in their original packaging wherever possible, including the instruction leaflet. This helps with identification and dosage; it also means that you always have the information on side-effects and shelf life to hand.
  4. Carry important medicines in your hand luggage
    If you're flying, it's advisable to store important medicines in your hand luggage. This means you have important medication to hand, particularly if your main luggage gets lost. When doing so, observe the safety regulations for transporting liquids and sharp objects.
  5. Keep medicines out of children's reach
    Some medicines pose a health risk to children, so you should ensure that travel medication is not accessible to children. It's best to use containers with child-resistant caps and closures.
  6. Check the shelf life and use-by date
    Before you travel, you should check the use-by date of all medicines in your first-aid kit and exchange any expired ones. This ensures that you have effective medicines with you.
  7. Change the storage when you reach your destination
    Take account of the climatic conditions at your destination when storing medicines. In tropical areas in particular, you may have to take additional measures to combat the humidity.

Consult a pharmacy

It's worth going to a pharmacy before your vacation: the specialist personnel not only offer you individual advice on how best to put together your first-aid kit, but also advise you about important preventative measures and how to use the medicines correctly. You can now enjoy your vacation thanks to being well prepared.

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