First Aid Tips for Family Trips
Conscientious parents pack a few extra things inside their bags when traveling with a child just in case of emergencies: a change of clothes, a snack, and maybe a book or two or music to play to entertain a child if planes get delayed. Yet few parents are prepared for a health emergency. Especially when traveling far from home, packing a health kit containing effective remedies for an unexpected bout of diarrhea, bee sting, injury or spell of motion sickness may be the smartest thing you can take along. Offering relief to a teen who has a bad fall or to an infant who is teething can make the difference between a dream vacation and a disaster.
Whether you tour urban settings or perch your family by the beach, homeopathic remedies can be your saviors when unexpected health glitches arise. They are safe for children, have no side effects, and are easy to use for unexpected frights, upset stomachs, bumps, bruises and bites. What’s more, they are light and take up little room in your luggage. All of the following remedies for travel can be purchased in a health food store or pharmacy that carries homeopathic supplies. These stores usually have books that describe the different remedies in detail. Stored properly, in a dry cool place, each medicine can last you for years.
Perhaps no malady is more common and dreaded than traveler’s diarrhea. If your little one keeps racing to the toilet, be sure to keep him or her well hydrated with electrolytes. Remember also that sugars, dairy and starchy foods often aggravate diarrhea and should be avoided. The BRAT diet will offer desperate children some relief (bananas, white rice, grated apple, and plain toast), but refer to a physician if the condition lasts for more than three days or is severe.
For overseas travelers heading to regions with endemic diarrheas, consider taking Bismuth tablets like Pepto-Bismol with you as well. These products can help by coating the intestine, thereby blocking the infection. Â The following homeopathic remedies may save the day during your family travels:
Arsenicum album: This remedy will help your child if he or she gets food poisoning and becomes anxious, restless or even frantic from stomach pain. It will provide relief for vomiting caused by food that has spoiled as well. If ever you are worried that food served at a salad bar or picnic has turned, Arsenicum album will ease stomach pain. Podophyllum: If your child experiences severe diarrhea you will be glad to have podophyllum, which acts as a great binding agent. This remedy will also perk up your child if he or she becomes exhausted from the diarrhea.
BITES AND STINGS
Ledum: Use this for puncture wounds, any type of penetrating animal bite with minimal bleeding, simple stings and insect bites. This is especially helpful when the wound feels cold to the touch and your child feels better when cold compresses are applied. Although surprising, the child might not want you to take away applications of ice, as they relieve the pain to such a great extent.
Apis: This remedy is more helpful when there is a sting or bite with intense swelling, redness and stinging pain. The area might appear to be blowing up and the skin might even look like it will rip. Apis can help when your child has an allergic reaction to a bite before you are able to get a doctor’s assistance.
ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES
Arnica: This is the best all-around trauma remedy, especially when the body feels tender to the touch. It is helpful for any type of injury associated with soreness and bruising (black eyes, fracture, sprains or trauma from a car accident). Going skydiving or skiing? Be sure to take this with you.
Cocculus: Be sure to have this remedy on hand if you have a child who tends to get carsick. It will help any child with any sort of motion sickness or seasickness with nausea. It will also help whether riding in a car, boat or plane. Cocculus can provide a wonderful assist for those with weak stomachs planning a long drive along winding mountain highways as along the coast in Big Sur, California, or Amalfi, Italy.
Chamomilla: Parents of irritable infants will appreciate this remedy the most. Chamomilla will bring relief to the inconsolable baby who is teething. When the pains of teething are unbearable for your child, this remedy will allow you to place the child down to rest peacefully.
Aconite: This remedy is one of the most important for any family to take along. Aconite is most helpful when there is a frightening event followed by great anxiety. It can soothe a child who is afraid to fly in an airplane or fearful of being in crowds. It can calm the youngster who witnesses a car accident or extreme event such as an earthquake. If your child goes on a wild ride in an amusement park and becomes terrified that he or she will die, aconite can help. The beauty of homeopathy is that a little goes a long way. Each remedy mentioned above is taken in tablet or pellet form, dissolved under the tongue. Even the crankiest child won’t object, as homeopathic remedies taste sweet. They offer no side affects either. Remedies come in a variety of strengths, but the “30C” is the most convenient for travel. Simply give two to three pellets to your child every four hours and stop when you see improvement. The child should not have to take the remedy for more than two days.
The National Center for Homeopathy maintains a helpful website at www.homeopathic.org. Included on the site is an international directory of licensed homeopaths listed by location. Keeping this address in your kit can help you if you ever need professional care away from home.
Once you have the appropriate items packed away, you can relax knowing that you are prepared if the need arises. All you need to be concerned about is the weather. Â Dr. Lauri Grossman developed the curriculum in homeopathy for the holistic departments of the graduate schools at New York University, the College of New Rochelle and New York Chiropractic College, and is an expert in integrative care. Visit her website at www.HomeopathyCafe.com