Keep these essential items in stock in case you get injured or sick at college.
3. Aches and Pains: So you decided to wear your new four-inch designer heels across campus and your feet are regretting it … immensely. Or, perhaps all that tapping on your iPad keyboard has wreaked havoc on your wrists. Or, maybe that new dance course you thought would be an “easy A” has done a number on your thighs. Either way, aches and pains will inevitably strike you at some point in the next four years. What should you do?
· Pain Reducers: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) works well for most headaches and minor pains, but if there is an inflammatory component to your pain (like muscle strains, period cramps, and overuse injuries like carpal tunnel or tennis elbow) then ibuprofen may have that added anti-inflammatory benefit. Take anti-inflammatories with food.
· Ace Bandage: Keep a medium sized ace wrap in your first aid kit in case you need a quick support band.
· Ice Pack or Heating Pad: Ice is useful in the early time period after an injury, or when there’s swelling; a heating pad is often useful when the ache has persisted passed the first few days. Alternatively, there are topical concoctions that incorporate both cold and heat (like product Icy Hot) for others who benefit from both. My motto often is “do what feels good” when it comes to this topic.
· Hydrocortisone Cream: Over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream is useful conditions like bug bites and minor itchy skin reactions. Make sure you don’t use it in areas of thin skin, like the face or genitals, before asking your doctor. And don’t use for longer than two weeks.
· Antihistamines: Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is essential for allergic reactions. If you know you are allergic to a specific food or product, make sure to keep your first aid kit stocked with this.
· EpiPen: If you’ve ever suffered a more serious allergic reaction, your doctor may have prescribed you a life-saving device called an “EpiPen,” which you can learn more about from a previous podcast. If you have one, never leave home without it. Be certain it hasn’t expired, and that you remind yourself how to use it once a year.
More Quick-And-Dirty Tips:
1. If you are sexually active, please do not forget safe sex practices. Other than abstinence, only condoms protect you against sexually transmitted infections.
2. If you drink alcohol, please only do so with those you trust. Always watch your drink 100% of the time. And never ever drink and drive.
3. If your symptoms are persistent or are concerning in any way, remember to utilize your campus student health center.
Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.