Enjoy the summertime by being prepared

Enjoy the summertime by being prepared

By MedStar Health

Whether it’s summer camp, a hiking trip or an outdoor summer adventure, bringing along essential safety items is as important as remembering your camera or hiking boots. Being prepared can spare you from a painful bug bite or sunburn, or help you manage minor illness or exercise-related aches and pains. MedStar Health has a few basic items for your camp or vacation checklist.

Bug spray 

You or your kids will most likely explore spaces occupied by creatures such as ants, spiders, flies, bees, mosquitoes and ticks, which can cause harmful rashes, or serious illness such as Lyme disease. Make sure to apply bug spray on exposed skin and clothes before venturing outdoors. Wear long pants and long sleeved, lightweight clothing options on hikes to help decrease the risk of insect bites. It is also important to teach your children how to check for ticks each night.

Calamine lotion

Bug bites are common during the summer months. When bites occur despite use of bug spray, calamine lotion can be applied to ease itchiness and irritation. Be sure your child knows to notify staff if there are any signs of infection, such as oozing, pain, increasing redness of the area affected, so they can be seen and treated for a possible infection.


A sunburn can creep up on you, especially during a hike! Medical experts recommend the use of sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 30 or higher for any extended outdoor activity. It’s also important to reapply sunscreen every two hours – or more frequently if you’ve been sweating or swimming.


Sun exposure damages the eyes as well as the skin. The best way to protect your eyes is to wear sunglasses that provide 99% to 100% UVA and UVB protection. This will greatly reduce sun exposure that can lead to cataracts and other forms of eye damage.

Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen 

Sunburn can be painful and uncomfortable so acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to help alleviate the pain or discomfort. Sun poisoning can cause a range of symptoms including headache, fever, nausea and fatigue so young campers should know to reach out to an adult if they have these symptoms along with a significant sunburn, as they might need additional treatment.

First aid kit

Not only will a great first aid kit help you with injuries that commonly occur while out camping, but it can keep you prepared for survival situations that might arise while you are on your trip.

Refillable water bottle

Staying hydrated is extremely important, especially with increased outdoor activities over the summer. Be sure your child knows to drink at least three bottles per day. Help them get into the fun of having it with them all day by decorating it themselves with stickers and such.