One of my sons’ recently had an allergic reaction to something (we still don’t know what) that was severe enough to send him to the Emergency Room by ambulance.
The incident resulted in costs that were well over 200 dollars and while I would never (and neither should you) even consider being thrifty during a medical emergency, there are some times when medical conditions can be treated rather cost effectively with some remedies found around the house.
Some of my favorites include:
Canker Sores – I have some kids that tend to get a lot of very painful canker sores. When they pop up, I have the kids either swish a capful of Hydrogen peroxide in their mouth being careful to spit it out, or I have them swish a mixture of 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda in a cup of warm water being careful to spit it out. Both techniques seem to cut down on the pain of the sore and its duration.
Sprains – the classic advice is to use RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation. For the ice part you just can’t beat using a package of frozen peas. It conforms to the area and keeps it very cool (note: don’t keep the ice on for longer than 20 minutes – if longer you can damage the skin by frostbite). I put my pea bags inside of a larger freezer baggie just to make sure that no pea juice gets anywhere. Be sure to put a barrier between the frozen pea bag and skin. A paper towel or a tee-shirt works well.
(Lots of) Bug Bites – on the few occasions that we get a lot of bug bites (either hiking in a wet area or during the fireworks on the Fourth of July). I have the kids take a cool shower followed by a dose of Benadryl. The cool shower helps with the inflammation and the Benadryl helps to reduce the swelling and the itching.
I’ve read that meat tenderizer works for bug bites (specifically stinging bugs like bees) but I’ve never used this mostly because I rarely carry meat tenderizer with me when I leave the house whereas I almost always have Benadryl (remember the allergic kid?).
Sunburns – using a cotton ball put generous amounts of Apple Cider Vinegar on the burns. You’ll smell like an Easter egg but the pain will soon diminish. I had two badly burned feet (thanks to flip-flops) and put Apple Cider vinegar on only one while leaving the other alone. The un-cidered foot blistered and peeled while the cidered foot turned from red to brown and did not peel. Your mileage may vary but we keep a bottle in the fridge specifically for summer sunburns.
I have also used Aloe gel (kept in the fridge) for burns and while I haven’t had the greatest of success with it for sunburns, for cooking burns it can’t be beat. I once spilled hot (boiling) coffee on the top of my hand which resulted in a red, blistery burn. Aloe gel very quickly took the severe pain away. Just be careful that you are not putting it on an open sore or cut.
Bug Repellant – mint leaves rubbed on your skin acts as a natural bug repellant, my bee allergic son uses this one all the time. Be careful not to rub it on your clothing as like any green plant, it can leave a stain.
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