Living Well

Tips for handling winter scrapes and bruises

The winter can be a dangerous season for a number of reasons—unpredictable driving conditions, icy roads to walk, frigid temps causing numbness and frostbite, and snow shoveling is known to cause back pain injuries.

But some things people should consider more closely are the everyday bumps and scrapes that can occur without even knowing it. Because of cold temperatures and numb skin, it's important to pay extra close attention to what you may brush up against when outdoors, in case you accidentally cut yourself.

In fact, you could unknowingly be putting your body at risk while taking part in fun winter activities—like engaging in snowball fights, ice-skating, sledding, and even taking down holiday decorations.

A few common (and not-so-common) causes of winter scrapes

Winter cuts and scrapes can come from anywhere. Even the most enjoyable moments of your season:

  • Holiday tree needles, branches, and prickly evergreen wreaths scrape your skin when putting them up (and more likely, when you take them down and throw them out.)
  • Splinters from chopping and handling firewood.
  • De-icing your windshield with a scraper.
  • Chapped hands rubbing against rough surfaces.

And this isn't just about doing work. Whether it's you or your kids, there are sharp, abrasive things everywhere you look:

  • The rails of a sled.
  • The blades of your recently sharpened ice skates.
  • Falling while playing ice hockey.
  • If you're lucky, crashing into others while sledding will probably cause a few bumps and bruises—big crashes could put you in the emergency room—yikes!

How to prepare for winter mishaps

1. Have a First Aid kit at home, in your car, and in your travel bag. Ideally, it would be packed with a saline solution, bandages, gauze, and even skin closure packs to help a cut stick together and heal.

2. Be extra careful when dealing with cuts and scrapes if you've had a cold or the flu lately. Being sick could slow down the body's healing process, and of course, you want to make sure nothing nasty comes in contact with the wound.

5. If your hands are cracked and bleeding due to dry skin, make sure you're applying lotion after you wash them, and limiting showers to 10 minutes with warm water so you don't cause dry them out even more.

SOURCE:

m.almanac.com/content/natural-remedies-dry-skin-relief.

First Aid Kit

Everything you need to respond in an emergency situation in one easy-to-access pack.

Bandages

Cover up those scrapes and cuts to protect pesky bacteria from entering open wounds.

Eligibility

10 ways to spend your FSA dollars by March 15

For many FSA users, 2016 isn't over quite yet! The period between January 1 and March 15 is the FSA grace period (for FSA plans that ended on December 31, 2016), the last chance for millions of FSA holders to spend down the remainder of their 2016 funds before they are forfeited.

Companies have the option of choosing the 2.5 month grace period or the $500 rollover when setting up FSA plans for employees, so if your plan features the grace period, there is still time to spend down the remainder of your 2016 funds before the deadline! Whether you have $600 or $60 left in your account, FSAstore.com can help you spend down your remaining 2016 funds on the eligible products you and your family use the most. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind before March 15 arrives!

  1. Medical/Dental/Vision Care

First and foremost, your FSA is one of the easiest ways to save on medical spending, so whether you've been putting off a physical exam, a dental cleaning or even thinking about LASIK surgery, these are all qualifying medical expenses that can be covered with FSA funds. Before your 2016 plan year comes to a close, use your remaining funds to lay a healthy foundation for 2017!

  1. First Aid Kits

You may have a first aid kit at home, but what about your car, boat or workplace? Accidents happen when you least expect them, so be prepared for the worst wherever you're heading with FSA eligible first aid supplies.

Check Out: Adventure Medical First Aid Kit Comprehensive

  1. Mineral Sunscreen

The sun's rays are dangerous for your skin during any season, so if you'll be spending an extended amount of time outdoors in the coming months, make sure your skin is protected with mineral sunscreen! These products do not absorb into the skin, offer broad spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays and are ready to protect from the sun as soon as they're applied.

Check Out: La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Face Mineral Tinted Sunscreen, 1.7 fl oz

  1. Sunscreen Lip Balm with SPF 15+

Don't let your lips suffer from a lack of sun protection year-round. Sun care lip balms that contain a sun protection factor of 15 or above are FSA eligible! Apply it before heading outdoors to safeguard your lips from the elements.

Check Out: Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 50

  1. Bandages

Bandages are staples of the modern household that can handle cuts, scratches and bruises large and small. They can also run out fast over the course of the year, so this is the perfect opportunity to plan ahead.

Check Out: Band-Aid Flexible Fabric Adhesive Bandages 1 In, 100 ea

  1. Neck Supports

Orthopedic neck supports are considered FSA eligible expenses, so if you're traveling in the future or simply need some pain relief when you're lounging around the house, these neck pillows can make a huge difference!

Check Out: IMAK HappiNeck Orthopedic Neck Support

  1. Contact Lens Accessories

In addition to contact lenses being FSA eligible, products like lens solution, carrying cases and other accessories are eligible for reimbursement as well.

Check Out: Bausch and Lomb Biotrue Multi Purpose Solution, 10 oz (Pack of 2)

  1. Eyeglass Accessories

On the opposite end of the spectrum, eyeglass wearers have plenty of care considerations of their own when maintaining their eyewear. Cleaning clothes, eyeglass repair kits and other accessories are FSA eligible, so use your benefit to ensure they're in great shape year-round.

Check Out: Apex Eyeglass Repair Kit Model No : 71013 - 1 Ea

  1. Thermometer

Has your family's thermometer seen better days? These devices have evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years to make taking a temperature easier than ever. Oral, in-ear, forehead and other designs are all eligible with an FSA!

Check Out: Braun Forehead Thermometer

  1. Blood Pressure Monitor

If you or a loved one has a history of hypertension or a family history of heart disease, blood pressure monitoring is a smart choice for future health decisions. Smartphone-enabled blood pressure monitors make it easier than ever to track numbers and share them with healthcare professionals to better realize your long-term health goals.

Check Out: Qardio Arm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

Adventure Medical First Aid Kit Comprehensive

Find everything you need to care for a large group on an extended trip.


Eligibility

2017 FSA Grace Period Product Guide

While the 12/31 deadline is the most important date of the year for millions of FSA users, a huge segment of this population is enrolled in plans that feature a 2.5 month grace period. This option, which is chosen by employers, gives FSA users 2.5 months after the end of their plan year to spend down the remainder of their FSA funds and submit claims for reimbursement.

If you have the FSA grace period and your FSA ended 12/31/2016, the countdown to March 15, 2017 (your 2.5 month grace period deadline) has begun! To avoid forfeiting money to your FSA plan sponsor, we have compiled the FSA Grace Period Product Guide to help you find the eligible products your family needs to stay healthy throughout 2017. Whether you have $20 or $200 left to spend, we can help you put those remaining FSA dollars toward items that can enhance your health and wellness for the year.

Need to get away?

If you and your loved ones are looking to escape the winter blues or planning a trip in the spring, your FSA covers a surprising amount of travel items that you may need along the way. Travel in comfort and avoid unnecessary neck pain with an orthopedic neck pillow, and keep track of any medications you take with an FSA eligible pill organizer. And don't forget sun protection (SPF 15+, broad spectrum sun protection is FSA-eligible)! Pick up children's sunscreen for the little ones and keep your skin protected with mineral sunscreen.

Make a renewed commitment to fitness

Whether you're trying to craft the perfect beach body this summer or are heading back to the gym for health-related purposes, your FSA can cover the cost of a wide range of physical therapy and wellness products to help alleviate pain while you reach your goals. Cold packs are smart buys that can help you control workout related soreness and inflammation, kinesiology tape can promote the healing process of strained muscles, while braces & elastic supports can immobilize joints to prevent re-injury and help you stick to your exercise regimen.

Improve your vision correction methods

Whether you wear contact lenses, reading glasses or prescription glasses, all of these vision correction methods are covered by your FSA! Best of all, in addition to the devices you use to improve your vision, the accessories needed to take care of them are eligible as well! Eyeglass repair kits & cleaning cloths, contact lens solution, contact carrying cases and many more eye care products are eligible and can keep you seeing clearly year-round.

Pick up home health essentials

Is your home's first aid kit up to date with fresh bandages and wound dressings? Do you have a first aid kit for your car or boat? What about over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, acid controllers, allergy remedies or antihistamines? FSAstore.com can help you pick up the medicine cabinet essentials your family needs to stay healthy year-round. And with our hassle-free Prescription Process, we can help you quickly obtain prescriptions from your doctor for eligible OTC medicines to complete your purchases!

Bundle of joy on the way?

If your family will be growing in the coming year, your FSA can help you lay a strong foundation for parenthood with a wide range of qualifying products. Prenatal multivitamins are eligible without a prescription, as well as breastfeeding supplies, baby sunscreen and much more! FSAs can help you save on the huge amount of care items that an infant will need throughout the early stages of life, so you can be prepared for whatever parenthood has in store.

Eligibility

Is your car's first aid kit ready for winter?

Winter is here and in many parts of the U.S., experiencing a medical emergency or car trouble while you're on the road is made all the more dangerous when frigid temperatures and adverse conditions are the norm. If you haven't done so already, creating a winter weather emergency kit for your vehicle is a smart choice for the winter months, and investing in a first aid kit should be at the top of your to-do list!

Luckily, if you are enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), first aid kits are FSA/HSA eligible, so this is the perfect time to update your existing kit with first aid supplies or start from scratch with a new one. With this tackled, what else will you need this winter? Here are the most important items you should include in your car's emergency kit this season.

  1. Fire Extinguisher

This is an extremely handy item to have in your car, whether you find yourself victim to a car fire or spot a fellow driver in need. Fire extinguishers should be rated for Class B and Class C fires by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Class B fires are those that involve flammable or combustible liquids, such as gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene. Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment such as switches, panel boxes and batteries.

  1. Floor Mats

While you may go through your share of floor mats this winter, make sure to pick up a few inexpensive rubber floor mats to stow in your car's trunk as well. Rubber floor mats are the easiest way to help get a car unstuck from a slick spot by placing them under the drive wheels and moving out of a spot that may be laden with moderate snow and ice.

  1. Flashlight and Batteries

A flashlight is essential in an emergency situation, as it can help you flag down passing drivers or tow trucks, as well as being able to inspect internal vehicle components in low light conditions. Be sure to change the batteries in the flashlight at the beginning of the season, and pack some spare batteries in your vehicle to ensure that you can keep your flashlight functioning in an emergency situation.

  1. Tow Straps/Rope

Even the most rugged 4-wheelers can get stuck in adverse winter conditions, and if you are far away from the nearest town, you may have to rely on other drivers to pull your car off the side of the road if it becomes immobile. When shopping for these products, make sure to go for tow straps/ropes that are strong enough to tow at least 6,000 pounds to be able to move most vehicles in winter weather conditions.

  1. Blankets and Winter Attire

Last but not least, your vehicle emergency kit should include materials that can help you and loved ones stand up to the cold in the event that you become stranded in frigid conditions. Warm blankets, as well as spare hats and gloves can help keep you and your passengers warm until you can get the car free or until emergency services arrive to assist.

For everything you need to keep your family healthy this winter, shop at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefit and keep your loved ones healthy year-round.

Adventure Medical First Aid Kit Fundamentals

The extensive components selection includes supplies to treat a wide range of injuries.

Caring Mill™ Comprehensive First Aid Kit

Everything you'll need to respond quickly in an emergency situation.


Eligibility

Prep a first aid kit for boat adventures

One of the most important additions to your boat is first aid kit, and in some states if you hit the water without one, expect to pay a heavy fine.

Are you ready to kick off recreational boating season? Unless you're in a year-round warm climate, the early spring is the time when most boaters will de-winterize their vessels, stock up on necessary supplies and make sure everything is in tip-top shape for the coming season. Of course, one of the most important additions to your vessel is a marine first aid kit, and in some states if you hit the water without one, expect to pay a heavy fine!

If you have a flexible spending account (FSA), your benefit will cover a huge range of qualifying medical supplies that can help you respond quickly in an emergency, even if you're miles away from the nearest hospital. Most first aid kits are comprehensive, but here are a few items that should be included with your nautical medical supplies.

1. Waterproof Casing

Before making a purchase of a full first aid kit or putting together one of your own, make sure to invest in a watertight case to carry around all of your boating medical supplies in. Nylon cases with durable, waterproof linings on the inside are typically the best options to safeguard these materials in an environment that is typically more humid and less sanitary than normal.

2. Waterproof Bandages

The nature of a marine environment can wreak havoc on most standard bandages and dressings, so make sure you stock plenty of waterproof bandages as possible. Bringing along this type of bandage can prevent liquid contamination of wounds and help them stay affixed to the skin for as long as possible before seeking medical attention.

3. OTC medications

Fill up a watertight baggy with a series of over-the-counter (OTC) medications you may need during your boating excursions this summer. A few ideas include pain relievers (aspirin, ibuprofen), anti-diarrheals, antihistamines (for allergies or motion sickness), antacids and anything else you may need.

4. Tweezers/Curved Scissors

Both tweezers and curved scissors are extremely vital additions to your first aid kit that can perform myriad uses in an emergency situation. Tweezers can be used to remove splinters and other first aid tasks, while curved scissors feature stubby points that will not poke the skin when trying to remove clothing or bandages.

5. Elastic Bandage

Last but not least, an elastic bandage is a welcome addition to your marine first aid kit that can serve a variety of uses. These bandages can be fashioned into a sling for a broken arm, wrapped around an ankle to immobilize a sprain and can even affix materials to an appendage to act as a splint for a broken bone. Search for a bandage with a clip as opposed to adhesives as this will have a longer shelf life in a humid marine environment.

If you have any questions about your boating season preparations, you can also take advantage of a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC) through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and many community lake/river/ocean marine patrol officers throughout the U.S. will provide this same service. This can help you avoid safety fines when out on the water, and give you peace of mind that your equipment is as safe as possible.

For everything else you'll need this boating season, shop at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to keep you and your family healthy no matter where you're headed this summer.

Eligibility

5 must-haves for your first-aid kit

Wondering what to pack for your next hike or camping trip? Don't forget to add a first-aid kit before you leave. Read about 5 must-haves for your kit.

First aid kits are among the most popular FSA eligible items available at FSAstore.com, and in the event of a major emergency, they can give you confidence to respond effectively in some scary situations.

Of course, no first aid kit can be expected to treat every emergency that arises, so it's wise to supplement yours with a few products that could prove invaluable in a pinch.

Here are 5 must-haves for your first-aid kit:

Activated Charcoal Powder

Poison control is often overlooked in first aid kits, but activated charcoal powder is a smart choice during these instances. These ultra fine charcoal grains can absorb a wide variety of drugs and chemicals, has a nearly indefinite shelf life and can be a life-saver in poisoning emergencies that could also include venomous bites and even severe allergic reactions.

Eye Wash

Foreign objects, chemicals and other environmental hazards can cause significant damage to the eyes if they are not cleaned quickly, and many first aid kits do not include an eye wash to handle these situations. Opt for a large enough bottle that can provide a steady stream into the eyes, and be sure to look for a product with an active preservative so it will stay fresh for years in your first aid kit.

Hand Sanitizer

Before handling a wound or other afflicted area, you should ensure that your hands are clean to avoid spreading them to affected areas and possibly leading to infections. Hand sanitizer is the quickest and easiest way to remove germs and other pathogens from your hands and should be a mainstay in any first aid kit.

Paramedic Shears

These rugged scissors are used to remove clothing in the event of a major injury, so the person providing first aid can get to the afflicted area quickly. The shears' design of a blunt tip and curved blades will reduce the chances of further injury, as well as being easy to use by those caring for the injured or for the injured person to remove clothing on his/her own.

Safety Pins

Surprisingly, there are a number of first aid kits that do not contain safety pins, but these hold innumerable medical uses. They can be used to cinch bandages over a wound, fasten a sling and even used to dig out small objects like splinters and debris from underneath the skin.

Using an FSA for first-aid items:

Of course, you can't get started on improving your first aid kit if you don't have one!

Shop for Adventure Medical Kits with your FSA.

These comprehensive first aid kits have something for all kinds of situations, whether you're at home, traveling, camping, hiking or hunting!

Visit FSAstore.com to explore our huge selection of first aid as well as the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products!

Eligibility

5 FSA eligible products for a fall hike

Wondering which products to bring along for a fall hike? Discover how you can use an FSA to buy 5 FSA eligible products for your fall hike.

Is there any season better suited for a hike through nature quite like autumn? Comfortable temperatures, the gorgeous seasonal palette of changing foliage and sparse crowds make it feel like you have the beauty of the backcountry all to yourself.

Of course, hiking comes with its own share of risks, and the safety of you and your loved ones will be best assured with advanced preparation and caution. If you have a flexible spending account (FSA), you'd be amazed at how many items you can purchase with your tax-free funds that will come in handy on the trail and help you respond quickly in an emergency.

Sunscreen (with insect repellent!)

The sun is still strong during the autumn months, and all that time spent in the outdoors will expose your skin to UV rays, so even if you'll be in shady areas, it's best to apply before you hit the trail. You can also kill two birds with one stone by using sunscreen with an insect repellent. Early autumn is still a peak time for mosquitoes - researchers at Iowa State University have found that the majority of mosquitoes that thrive in the cool fall weather are more likely to transmit disease like West Nile virus, so it's best to be prepared!

Check Out: Bull Frog Mosquito Coast Sunscreen w/Insect Repellent, SPF 30

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is a must-have for any hiking or camping trip that can allow you to respond quickly if you or a loved one experiences a major injury. Alongside basic supplies like bandages, adhesive tape, scissors and splints, first aid kits should include antibiotic dressings, antiseptics and OTC pain relief medications that can help you tackle issues large and small. Make sure yours is well-stocked!

Check Out: Adventure Medical Kits

Athletic Tape

A sprained joint or a pulled muscle can put a serious damper on your hiking trip, and trying to walk it off without assistance could exacerbate the injury even further. An elastic bandage is something that can easily fit into a backpack and can be fashioned into a sling or wrapped around an injured area to immobilize and stabilize the injury quickly.

Check Out: KT Tape

Cushioned Insoles

After multiple hours on the trail, there's a good chance your dogs will be barking! Your FSA covers a huge range of foot cushioning products and treatments, which can help you avoid foot pain on the trail and can offer a degree of stabilization that can help you avoid injury.

Check Out: Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Men's Outrageous Comfort, Size 8-13

Cold Packs

Be sure to pack some cold packs for your next hike, just in case of any minor sprains or strains along the way. An ice pack goes a long way to provide pain relief.

Check out: https://fsastore.com/Instant-Cold-Pack-Cara-4x11-inch-Twin-Pack-P8827.aspx

Before you set off on your autumn hike, maximize the potential of your employee benefits at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to keep you and your family safe on the trail year-round.

Eligibility

FSA-eligible essentials for Parks and Recreation Month

Parks are a great place to unwind after a hectic week or day and enjoy a picnic. Your Flexible Spending Account can also help through healthcare essentials!

Did you know July is Parks and Recreation Month? Summer is full of opportunities to explore the great outdoors, and that could definitely include parks! Parks are a great place to unwind after a hectic day or week, to enjoy a hike or a picnic, and they often offer something for everyone (including some playgrounds for kids). And even better, your Flexible Spending Account can help fuel the fun!

If you have a favorite local park, you'll want to prep for visiting it with a few healthy essentials, so you don't have to worry as much about minor scrapes, pains and other nuisances.

And, as you use your FSA, you'll know that you're saving on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses by shopping for products you need!

Healthy FSA-eligible Essentials for a Day in the Park

Planning an extensive trip to a national park, or simply want to visit your local park?

No problem! Whether you're traveling near or far, there are essentials you can bring with you to help on the adventure. In addition to the usual list of snacks and water, you'll definitely want to also consider bringing first aid items.

If you want a comprehensive first aid kit specific to a park trip, look no further than Adventure Medical Kits. These first aid kits are built for any adventure - small or big!

1. The Adventure First Aid Family Kit is perfect for family needs. Not only does it contain all the first aid supplies you could want, but it also has a handy "Caring for Children in the Outdoors" guide to first aid specific for kids, covering a range of topics from administering medications to treating wounds to sprains and more! In addition to that, the kit will easy fit inside a stroller or diaper bag for more convenience.

Shop for the Adventure First Aid Family Kit at FSA Store

2. The Comprehensive kit has just about everything you'll want and more for your first aid needs. This organized bag contains side panels for medications, a detachable Ultralight/Watertight summer kit, and first aid supplies to treat all types of injuries including bandages and dressings.

Shop for the Adventure Medical First Aid Kit Comprehensive at FSA Store

3. If you're planning on hunting or fishing, Adventure Medical Kits developed the Whitetail kit for those purposes. This kit has first aid treatments for all types of common injuries specific to hunting and fishing.

Shop for the Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Whitetail at FSA Store

Want to browse all first aid items from Adventure Medical and learn more about Adventure Medical?

Shop for all Adventure Medical Kits first aid treatments

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