how to take a road trip with young kids: first aid favorites and car sickness survival.

Many of the first aid items that I take with us on road trips have stayed the same through the years (Tylenol is Tylenol), but many have been updated, or new items have been added to the rotation.  So, even though I already briefly covered some of this in a repost earlier in the week, here's what all we currently use and will take with us later this summer on this year's road trip.

I like to keep everything in clear, zippered pouches in my purse, so it's close on hand in the car.  It makes it easy to find what I need, and I don't have to worry something will leak all over my purse.  (My pouches are similar to these, I think.  I bet pencil bags from the school supply section would work, too!)

In the first pouch, I keep any essential oils I'll be taking.  I don't use oils every day or anything, but I do like to have them on hand for first aid.  My go-to, commonly used oils on a trip are (left to right):

**carrier oil, for safely using oils on kids.  ALWAYS dilute!!
**peppermint, for headaches and nausea.
**healthy hero blend (essentially kids-safe "Thieves," but not YL brand). This bottle is from the Edens Garden kid-safe line of oils, which I LOVE!
**stress relief, because, I mean, road trips with kids.
**tea tree, for cuts and scrapes.
**lavender, for skin issues and calming riled kids.

In my second pouch, I have summer prep stuff:

**spray sunscreen.  I very, very rarely ever use sunscreen on my kids, and when I do, it's only on their 'hot spots' (nose, cheeks, ears, shoulders, feet) in intense sun.  I typically just rely on physical barriers like clothing, and staying inside during the most intense parts of the day, and letting them take in that Vitamin D the rest of the time.  But on vacation, it will be nice to just spray them quick if I need to, if we're out and about.
**hand sanitizer, because Gas Station Bathrooms.  Yes?
**new skin.  Easier than replacing Band-aids every time they get wet or something, and great for covering blisters they get from their shoes.
**all-natural, oil-based lotion.  Great for chapstick or for diluting tea tree oil to put on cuts. (We LOVE this lotion for everything, actually.  We literally buy pounds of it at a time.)
**mineral sunscreen.  Healthier than spray-on, and easier to use on just a few target spots rather than all over.
**bug spray.  This stuff smells SO GOOD (like vanilla), and works SO WELL.

In my third pouch (and a smaller bag I keep in my purse at all times), I keep items that are great for general first aid:

**bacitracin, in case the tea tree isn't cutting it.
**tweezers, for emergency relief from splinters and rogue chin hairs.
**first aid kit, bandaids.  This one is adorable and space-efficient, and it fits SO well in the console!

**arnica gel.  This stuff is so, so wonderful for soothing sore muscles and healing bruises.
**arnica pellets.  These work like homeopathic ibuprofen - I've even used it for pain management after birth.  I'll be taking them along this time for pregnancy-plus-car-ride back pain.
**drawing salve.  This stuff pulls splinters right out of skin like you wouldn't believe.
**green salve, for taking the itch out of bug bites.
**adult Tylenol
**kids' Tylenol

Now, our all-out arsenal for treating carsickness.  Pretty much every single time we head out on a long trip, at least one kid ends up barfing, if not multiple kids.  We have tried All The Things, and these have proven helpful:

**peppermint oil on the wrists and bellies of sick kids.  If they're too young (under 6) to have peppermint oil applied directly to them, I've had luck putting a few drops on a cotton ball and tucking it into their carseat straps or into the air vent above their seat.
**ginger oil is great on a cotton ball as well, though I've never applied it to their skin.
**tummy aid oil.  Another Kid-Safe blend from Edens Garden.  This one is good applied on their wrists or bellies after having been diluted.
**sea bands made a world of difference for Atticus (our sickest car-sickie) last time we traveled!
**Kids' Dramamine.  When all else fails, I have no problem resorting to Dramamine!  It works really well.  I've also never noticed any drowsy behavior in the kids after taking it, which I've heard is a concern.  My kids have always acted normally.
**Altoids contain real peppermint oil and very little sugar, so these are really great for settling tummies of kiddos who can handle the spice.
**chewable ginger tablets.  We've never tried these before, but I have them on hand to try out on this upcoming trip.
**cotton balls, for aromatherapy use of the abovementioned oils.

And, not pictured: Ice cream bucket with lots and lots of plastic bags to use as liners.  Make sure the plastic bags do not have holes in the bottom!  This makes it so easy to tie up the mess and toss it in a trash can, instead of having to rinse anything out in a nasty gas station bathroom.  I also roll up an old towel next to the bucket, for use in cleaning up any 'overspray'-type messes, or for aproning over a really sick kid - worst case scenario, you lift up the ends to catch the mess, and then hobo-bag the corners of the towel and throw the whole thing in the trash.

The very second a kiddo starts complaining of a belly ache, I start busting out the remedies.  There isn't time to 'wait it out!'  Not only do I use the products mentioned above, but I make them look out the window  instead of down at their books or at the DVD screen, and I either open their window or blast the air conditioner on the 'arctic' setting.  If I need to, I hustle to the back to hold the bucket.  Barf can singlehandedly make or break a trip, so I do whatever it takes to stay ahead of it and keep it from getting out of hand.

And that's how we (try to) prepare for unforeseen injuries and inevitable barfing incidents!  What tricks do you have up your sleeve to help with these situations?

1 comment :

todd said...

barf can make or break about anything, especially confined spaces.