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Send your kid back to college prepared with all the basic medical supplies in case they get sick. Check out our DIY College First Aid Kit!
DIY College First Aid Kit Supplies
If I’m being honest, I feel a little nervous when I think about sending my kiddo off to live in college dorm rooms.
So to help me feel a little better, we put together a College First Aid Kit of Supplies (with Coronavirus supplies in mind. In addition to everything else, I want to make sure he has everything he needs if he does get sick!).
After talking with a few physicians, pediatricians, and pharmacists, we put together the following list of college first aid supplies to make sure our kids have everything they need in case they do get sick, saving them a late night trip to the pharmacy. (And a seriously over-anxious mom on the other end of the phone!)
This is great to get done now if your student is heading to school in the Fall – trust me, they'll appreciate it!
As always, please check with your family physician/pediatrician before giving/using any of the following items.
Here are a few tips to help get you started on your College First Aid Kit:
1 – Purchase smaller sized bottles and containers of supplies for your college first aid kit
Since college students don't have much storage space, sending smaller bottles of over the counter medications will make sure they don't take up too much room. And, buying smaller amounts is a good idea as it helps to keep things from going past the expiration dates (then you can re-stock supplies when kids come home for a break from school).
2 – Buy generic when available.
Brand names are expensive, so if you're able, purchase generic medicines to keep costs down. Writing the popular name brand on the generic bottle will help kids identify what they're looking for in the wee hours of the night (and they'll learn what the actual names of the medicines are instead of just their brand names).
3 – Make the college first aid kit supplies work for your child.
There are a million things you could add to a college first aid supply kit, but focus on the most important items first, then add in extras if you can. A bug bite isn't usually a huge deal, but if you live in a mosquito prone area, make sure you have that item.
Make sure your kiddos have at least the basics as they head off to school (if you don't have time to create one yourself, you can also check out this basic First Aid Kit Supplies set too.)
4 – Find the easiest way for your child to access medical care if they do get sick.
My son is at a large university, and got a pretty nasty cold during his freshman year. Even though he wasn't all that far away from us, it wasn't easy to just run down and pick him up and bring him home (but in the middle of the night, we had no idea where the on-campus medical facilities were, and they had long lines!)
We learned then that on his campus, the best option was to find a local Immediate Care Center, so we located one closest to his dorm. Some schools have a college health center, but others don't.
If you can, find that information out ahead of time (and make sure your child has a copy of their insurance card), so you're not researching that in the middle of the night when you're worried over their health too or if there's a medical emergency.
You might even want to write it down that info on an index card and tape it to the inside of their first aid kit (maybe even with their health insurance info)!
What should a college first aid kit contain?
Here are items you'll want in your DIY First Aid Kit. The popular name brands are in parenthesis.
- Tackle Box – to hold all your supplies!
- Regular Prescription Medications – Have at 2 Weeks – 1 Month worth of any necessary me
- Electrolyte Drinks (Pedialyte, Gatorade, Nuun tablet) – to rehydrate
- Sore Throat Relief Spray (Chloraseptic) – sore throat relief
- Cough Drops – cough/sore throat
- Sore throat suckers/pops – sore throat relief
- Cough Medicine (Delsym, Robitussin) – cough suppressant
- Dextromethorphan (Mucinex DM) – expectorant & cough suppressant
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) – pain relief/reduce fever
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) – pain relief/reduce fever/reduce inflammation
- Antihistamine (Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec) – allergic reactions
- Antacid (Tums) – upset stomach
- loperamide HCI (Immodium) – diarrhea
- Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol, Kaopectate) – Heartburn/Nausea/Upset Stomach
- Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine, anti nausea suckers) – Nausea
- Hydrocortisone Topical Ointment/Cream (Cortizone-10) – for itchy skin/rashes
- Oatmeal Bath Packets (Aveeno Soothing Bath) – Itchy skin/rashes
- Nausea wristband (Sea-Band wristband) – Nausea
- Hand Sanitizer
- Antibacterial soap
- Disinfectant Wipes
- Lysol Spray
- Band Aids or Elastic Bandages
- Antibiotic Ointment
- Ice and Heating Pack
Do you need a first aid kit for college?
While it's not a requirement to have a college first aid kit, it's a pretty good idea to have these items on hand.
And The best part?
Even if they think us moms are a wee bit crazy that we make them head off with this crazy kind-of-over-packed College First Aid Kit of Supplies . . . the minute they get sick they'll be thankful their moms (and dads!) were thinking of them ahead of time.
In the long run, having the right things on hand can really save time and money, and your kids will know they're crazy loved during stressful times too.
What other ideas do you have to include in a college first aid kit (or any supply kit at home?)? Even if you don't have kids at college these are great things for all of us to have on hand at home ~ I'd love to hear what you'd add to the list. (I love hearing from you ~ leave a comment to share and let me know your thoughts too!)