Something changed last week.
I don’t know if you felt it, but I sure did. I was outside watering the garden and I realised that I didn’t have a jumper on. Without realising it, I had ventured out in just a t-shirt. It has been a long cold and wet winter, and I hadn’t done that in months. I always love the moment that first suggestion of warmth appears, because instantly, summer becomes a reality to me. I instantly began thinking about where I might take the kids over school holidays, and settled pretty quickly on the mid north coast of New South Wales.
But just as quickly, I started thinking about all the things I would need to pack to make sure we wouldn’t be caught unaware. Maybe I’ve been a pharmacist for too long, but I got almost as excited in mentally prepping my travel medical bag as I did deciding which beach I wanted to laze around upon. I thought I would take you through my list, so that you too can be ready for a summer spent outside. And the best part? Every item is available from this Australia pharmacy.
The benefits are obvious. We all know the agony of lying in bed scratching your top layer of skin off because you have been decimated by mozzies. It can ruin your holiday. But it can actually get a lot worse. Mosquitos can be a carrier for a whole host of infections. Malaria, Dengue fever, Nile fever and most recently, Japanese encephalitis. Whilst Aerogard is not a silver bullet when dealing with mozzies, it does give you six hours where you are much less attractive to the various insects which would like to have at you. And when you’re camping, six hours is a long time.
Our understanding of ticks has come quite a long way over the last decade or so. I’ve personally pulled about thirty grass ticks off my youngest son in one fell swoop, and while these are generally pretty innocuous, there are different kinds which can have very serious repercussions. If you are travelling to Europe, Asia or North America, you might become exposed to a tick infected with borrelia. This then develops into Lyme Disease. This causes headaches, fevers and joint pain, and it can be a long and slow recovery. This is an interesting point because some people have been bitten by ticks here in Australia and developed similar symptoms. Doctor’s re uncertain as to whether it is the same bacteria, and the treatment becomes difficult as you can’t get a solid diagnosis. So, instead of pulling the tick out with tweezers, tick remover spray (available for the best price at this Australia pharmacy) freezes them so they can’t pump all their venom into your bloodstream when they get squeezed out. You may think it silly, but the old way can put you at risk of some pretty debilitating diseases.
Similar to mozzie bites, the immediate pay off is obvious. Remember lying in bed with a burn so bad you could feel every grain of sand that had followed you into bed and was now rubbing against your red blistering back? I sure do… A few days later, I’d shed a layer of skin like I was a snake. Sunscreen could have prevented all of that. But (like mozzies), there is also the long term benefit: Melanoma is on track to become the third most common kind of cancer in Australia this year. Sadly, we have the highest rates of any country in the world, leading it to morbidly be dubbed, ‘Australia’s national cancer’. Get some sunscreen from your Australia pharmacy and help to curb this worrying trend.
Australia is home to some of the most deadly snakes on the planet. And while most of them are more scared of you than you are of them, misunderstandings do happen. In those instances, a snake bandage can save your life. It significantly slows the rate the venom can travel to your vital organs, and given how potent some of this venom can be, this matters. People who have been bitten by the likes of a taipan have dropped dead after walking 40 metres to find help. It really is crucial that you stay absolutely still and apply a pressure bandage ASAP.
Nothing about these immediately screams ‘camping’ but they are a genuine necessity. Consider how debilitating a headache can be in your regular life, where you can have a shower, lie in a dark quiet room on a comfortable bed. Now imagine that same headache when you’re lying in a hot tent in the middle of the day trying to block out the shrieks of joyous children. There’s no better way to ruin your holidays… Make sure you know your medicines too. You can take paracetamol at the same time as Ibuprofen, so you can get the most bang for your buck.
I love camping, but one of the most frustrating aspects is that it can be hard to feel clean. Ordinarily, I’m not too bothered by this, but when you or a loved one has cut themselves up, you really need to stay hygienic or you’ll end with infections galore. Betadine is a godsend in this regard. This antiseptic kills bacteria and other microorganisms responsible for wound infections, which helps the body's normal wound healing process. In short, your holiday doesn’t get cut short simply because of a scraped knee which gets infected. As a younger man, I cut myself on oysters, and because I was invincible (the arrogance of youth), I didn’t bother cleaning it out. Three days later, I had developed lockjaw. Zero out of ten, would not recommend.
So there you have it: an insight into the summer first aid kit of a pharmacist. You might think I am being a little too over the top with how much I cram in there. But as I always say, everything is a waste of space right until the moment that it becomes a necessity.
Floyd - Senior Pharmacist