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Sports Medicine 101: Basic Items for Your Summer Medicine Kit

June 17, 2011

Summers in the Midwest can be brutal.

Working out in the heat and the humidity is frustrating and can be dangerous, leading to injuries whether you are playing sports competitively or recreationally.

And let’s not forget about the insects. Whether it’s 13 year locusts or mosquito’s, we do not have a shortage of insects.

So what can you do to protect yourself from insect bites, exhaustion and other common injuries associated with outdoor activities? Make sure you’ve got yourself a little sports medicine kit.

Antiseptic Wash

Hydrogen peroxide is cheap and works beautifully to clean out cuts and scrapes.


Benadryl is a must have for any bites, stings and itchy rashes. But be careful giving into to children. Always speak to your doctor first.

Emergency Numbers

Inside your kit keep a list of numbers readily available including your physician, your children’s physician, police and fire department, the urgent care center and poison control center.

Hydrocortisone Cream

This topical cream also helps with stings, itchy rashes and bites. Just without the drowsiness. But remember, you can still put too much hydrocortisone cream on an itch or rash.

Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen

While ibuprofen is best for reducing inflammation, both are exceptional at minimizing and even eliminating pain from common bumps and bruises you make suffer while playing sports.

Ice packs

While you’re at it, grab an ace wrap and bandages for strains and sprains. Basketball and volleyball players—really, anyone who runs and turns quickly and twists the ankle—are most susceptible to sprains in the ankle in the summer. Be prepared.

Insect repellent

When it comes to getting insect repellent, look for 10 to 30 percent DEET. And only apply once. Insect repellent isn’t like sunscreen. It does not wash off in the water.

Medicine Dropper

To ensure you give your child the correct dosage of oral medication, use a medicine dropper.


If you are going to spend any length of time in the sun–thirty minutes or longer–it’s recommended you wear a sunscreen with at least a 15 SPF or higher. Lifeguards, volleyball players, swimmers–you all need to wear sun screen. Re-apply sunscreen often. And watch out for signs of heat exhaustion, too. Fever, vomiting, lethargy and abdominal cramps are all signs of heat exhaustion. Get to a doctor immediately.


Tweezers are a staple to any medicine kit. Your sports medicine kit is no different. Need to remove a splinter? Check. A piece of glass? Check. Hair? Check. No end to the utility of these tiny

No doubt about it: Summer will bring some bumps, bruises and cuts. Be prepared to handle any emergency by filling up your sports medicine kit today no matter what sport you decide to play.


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