The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Packing for Vacation? Include a Summer Foot Safety Kit with These Helpful Items

Posted by on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

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Summer is the best time of year to liberate your feet and enjoy the freedom of fresh air in a world that is dominated by closed-toe sneakers and dress shoes. Sandy beaches, swimming pools, and dewy grass present many opportunities for basking barefoot, but this could also spell trouble. “Even if you are just lying still on your back soaking up the rays, your feet are still vulnerable,” says American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) member Dr. Jane Andersen. “You can seriously sunburn your feet and no matter how upscale your hotel, athlete’s foot can lurk in all public pool areas.” The APMA recommends building a foot safety kit that can travel with your family on vacation to protect you from the perils of barefoot freedom.

family's bare feet on beach
It’s fun to go barefoot in the summer, but one must always take proper precautions.
Image source: Flickr user Trevor Leyenhorst

What to Make Sure Is Included in Your Foot Safety Kit

According to the APMA, a good foot safety kit includes the following items:

  • Flip flops – for use around the pool, at the spa, in your hotel shower, and at airport security check points
  • Sterile bandages – to address minor cuts and scrapes
  • Antibiotic cream – to sanitize any foot injury
  • Emollient-enriched cream – for proper foot hydration to help you avoid chafing
  • Blister pads or moleskin – to protect your feet from blisters
  • Motrin or Advil (anti-inflammatory) – to ease minor aches and pains of swollen feet
  • Toenail clippers – to keep your nails trimmed properly
  • Emery board – to smooth rough edges or broken toenails
  • Pumice stone – to smooth callused heels
  • Sunscreen – to prevent sunburn scorching
  • Aloe vera or Silvadene cream – to relieve sunburns

Adventure Medical also makes a small, compact foot health kit for less than $10, which contains: one sterile gauze bandage, two 2×2 pads, three anti-itch antiseptic wipes, four Band-aids, two adhesive knuckle bandages, two butterfly bandages, one antibiotic ointment, 14 pieces of moleskin for blister protection, four ibuprofen, one insect sting relief pad, one set of tweezers, and two safety pins.

Additional Tips for Summer Foot Safety

Having a medical kit on hand can help you address minor foot injuries once they occur, but preventing them is even better! Here are a few tips podiatrists give their patients so they can enjoy a happy, safe summer:

Be mindful of where you travel barefoot. Warts, athlete’s foot, and other infections are more likely to strike bare feet.

– Invest in water shoes. Better than flip-flops or bare feet, sporty water shoes can be worn around the pool, at the beach, out on the water while canoeing or kayaking, and in public locker rooms. Fungal and bacterial infections can be very expensive and difficult to treat, so it’s best to avoid these pathogens altogether!

– Bring an extra pair of athletic shoes. Wearing damp shoes can create a haven for fungal and bacterial colonies to take hold. Dry out your shoes completely by alternating with a different pair every other day.

Apply sunscreen to your ankles and the tops of your feet. Be sure to reapply sunscreen after you’ve been in the water.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water minimizes leg, foot, and ankle swelling that is all too common in the summer heat. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day. If water is too plain for your liking, you may substitute herbal tea or flavored water. Eating water-rich foods like celery, cucumbers, onions, and watermelon helps increase fluid intake as well.

–  Seek treatment immediately, if necessary. We can’t overemphasize the following point: Foot pain is not normal! Don’t wait until you have a stress fracture or sprain. Find a podiatrist wherever you are on vacation and get help right away if you are experiencing discomfort. If you happen to be in New York, come visit us!

water shoes
A pair of quick-drying, sporty water shoes can protect your feet from damage while at the beach, kayaking, canoeing, or visiting a waterpark.

New York Foot Care

We hope you don’t suffer any bouts of foot fungus, foot puncture wounds, or sun-scorched feet this summer, but if you do and you’re in the New York area, you can stop by one of The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine clinics in Manhattan or Westchester. Our experienced podiatrists can help you with everything from blisters and plantar warts, to broken feet and diabetic foot ulcers. We offer the latest foot pain management technology to get you back on your feet and back to your vacation quicker than ever. Book your appointment online.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.