Why are there no aspirin in the jungle?
Last week my friend's face was the unfortunate victim of an altercation with a garden swing. It's moments like this that enable me to proudly justify the over-brimming kitchen drawer that once contained batteries and other "useful" items, but now refuses to open unless you slide in a spatula to wedge down the upsurging First Aid contents within. Should shops close again, fear not friends, simply read on to find out how you too could become a highly sought-after member of your street, rather than the neighbour that our friendly Home Secretary would excitedly dob in.
Well, here at OSMP we're big on encouraging self-care, wherever possible. Our pals in the local pharmacies are also great at giving advice on how to sort simple wounds, what to put on bites, and what to do if you go in with your finger hanging off. With this in mind, here are...drumroll...Dr Önaç's top ten items that no home should be without. Of course if you can source these locally you'll save on transport carbon (planet point!), support local businesses, and you might even be able to buy an eco-friendly or plastic free version (extra planet point and the drinks are on me!).
1 - Plasters. These undoubtedly end up bloody and stuck to the sock of an unwitting parent, or being discovered when you wake overnight in a cold sweat thinking that some spidery creature has died silently and stickily in your bed. Try to remain calm, friends, as I tell you that these are now available plastic-free here! Relax, of course I've road-tested them. They're a million times easier to remove than the usual fabric plasters that seem to have enough industrial-strength adhesive to perform a back-crack-and-sack wax in one go. Win win. Plus the cute cardboard tube packages are compostable or can be upcycled to pencil pots or maracas (please God no).
2 - Crepe bandages. These are essential for anyone wanting to visibly play the invalid (or play the English Patient, or a pantomime mummy for that matter). Who's to know that lurking beneath that biceps-enhancing bandage is simply the tiniest of scratches? Ha! Milk the sympathy and oh go on then, yes I'll have another biscuit, you're spoiling me. Ahem. They're also useful for genuine injuries where light pressure can help reduce inflammation, such as sprains, and for covering over...
3 - Steri-strips. I mean, I could sing from the rooftops about these little miracle workers. Even the scariest of cuts can be neatly and effectively brought together like a small section of Bayeux tapestry. You need these in your life, trust me (um, I really am a doctor).
4 - Hydrocortisone cream. A pocket-sized tube of this is available to buy quite cheaply from your local chemist. It's a very mild steroid, which means it zaps inflammation and soothes stings. Use it on nettle rash, eczema, insect bites, and sunburn (as if you would be daft enough to go out without sunblock on...right?)
5 - Antihistamines. liquid for little kids; tablets for big kids. These are a must for anyone with allergies and hayfever, and useful for itchy bites and rashes. Again you can just pick them up in your local chemist or supermarket.
6 - Paracetamol. A must for pain. Remember you are only allowed to buy 32 tablets in one go and keep them well out of reach of little hands and paws as they can cause serious liver damage in excess. And if granny's looking slimmer these days and her body weight is under 50kg, she'll need a lower dose - not many people know this so please do check!
7 - Fresh herbs. What, surely you know thyme is a great healer...?
8 - Scissors and tweezers. I ain't talking about an intricate craft project, but you'll thank me if there's a splinter, or if you need to use item 3. Ha! Also trimming your plasters into fun shapes can sometimes stave off the tears. Hey listen, I'm just sensitive *shrugs*.
9 - Alcohol gel. I can't wriggle out of the fact that my research has yielded a big fat zero plastic free alternatives to anti-bac wipes and gel. Urgh. Not giving up just yet...
10 - I don't want to rub salt in the wound (sorry) but you'll be in trouble if you forget your mask!
Fed up of bandages? Then let's wrap it up! Well, you're all set for an autumn staycation or lockdown, or to be the saviour on the 6-person-max night out that has a manbag/handbag full of practical items with which to mop up the others when things get a little, er, out of hand.
And finally, there are no aspirin in the jungle because... the paracetamol (sounds better out loud, honest)!