After an unusually warm winter, it’s no surprise that summer seems to arrive even earlier in some parts of the country.  Seniors need to be especially cautious when the temperatures and the humidity are high of course; but in the cooler mornings and evening and even throughout the day when it is cooler, there is plenty of time in the summer to enjoy the outdoors.

So with that adventurous summer spirit in mind, here are a few items you’ll want to keep in your medicine cabinet, to help you get the most enjoyment out of the summer.

  1. Insect repellant-Without an extended winter cold snap, and a wet spring, there will likely be a lot more insects this summer.  Look for repellent that is 10-30% DEET.  You only need to apply it once.
  2. Hydrocortisone Cream- Just in case the bugs find you, or you hit a spot of poison ivy in the garden, this topical cream relieves stings, bites and itchy rashes.
  3. Sunscreen and aloe cream-If you are going to be in the sun 30-minutes or longer, sunscreen of 15-SPF or higher is recommended. Re-apply it often, especially if you are swimming.  Aloe cream will help ease the pain and re-hydrate your skin if you do get sunburn.
  4. Antacid for heartburn, Imodium for diarrhea-Ice cream, cookouts, you name it. Normal meals and mealtimes are not always the norm in the summer and digestion problems can follow.
  5. Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen- While both over-the-counter medicines provide excellent pain relief, ibuprofen is best for reducing inflammation.
  6. Antihistamine and a cough/cold remedy-Nothing can ruin summer fun like a cold. Having these medicines on hand can ease the symptoms.
  7. Bandages and antibiotic cream-Cuts and scrapes are all part of summer. Remember to wash out the cut or scrape, apply the cream and then the bandage.
  8. Copy of health insurance card, phone numbers of health care providers, health information concerning chronic health problems - This is especially important if you are going to be travelling away from home.

Because many seniors are already taking a variety of medications, it’s always important to check with your doctor/pharmacist before taking additional medications to guard against any side effects or drug interactions.  Whatever your plans, summer adventures, which usually include visits with family and friends, can be much more fun if you plan ahead and are prepared for any unexpected health issue. 

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