Pack a Travel First-Aid Kit for the Holidays

Include prescription drugs, as well as OTC remedies for common problems, expert advises

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FRIDAY, Dec. 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- If you're planning on traveling during the holidays, be sure to pack a travel first-aid kit, an expert recommends.

"A good first-aid kit should help you cope with many of the situations that can make your vacation less than perfect -- like a headache or a stomachache," Caroline Sullivan, an assistant professor of Columbia University School of Nursing, said in a university news release.

"Once you set up the kit, just check the contents before every trip to make sure you have enough supplies and nothing has expired," she added.

A basic travel first-aid kit doesn't cost much or take up much space. It should include prescription medicines in the original bottles.

It should also contain a number of over-the-counter (OTC) products to treat minor health problems. That includes items to: relieve diarrhea, upset stomach, heartburn, indigestion and nausea; treat headache or fever; soothe insect bites and stings; relieve allergies; help you sleep.

Other essentials include: antibiotic ointment to prevent infections from minor cuts, scrapes and burns; bandages to cover minor cuts and scrapes, as well as blisters; hand sanitizer; and tissues to cover your sneezes and to dab cuts and clean hands in a pinch.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about travelers' health.

SOURCE: Columbia University, news release, Dec. 8, 2014

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