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Treat summer ailments with natural remedies

While summer vacations symbolize fun and quality time together for families, they can frequently be strained with unplanned health problems.

As any parent knows, traveling with kids can be challenging enough without any extra surprises. So rather than chancing the setbacks of common accidents and ailments, be prepared for them so you can enjoy your time rather than nursing a child back to health in your hotel room.

By packing a few of these lifesavers in your bag, you'll be able to breathe easily should any problem arise.

*Arnica is a homeopathic remedy that's widely used in Europe. It's essential for any parent with an active child who's prone to falls or tumbles. This incredible homeopathic can stop bruises and bumps from forming, and can even reverse their evidence. In fact, it works to help reduce muscle pain and injury from any type of physical trauma.

Dispense a few pellets (small white balls) to a child every eight to 10 minutes. Avoid any food or drink other than water during this time. Arnica also comes in a cream form, which can be applied directly to sore body parts.

*The aloe vera plant has been used for centuries to treat skin ailments, including sunburns and scrapes. It has long been sold in gel form for convenience, but be sure to look for concentrated aloe vera gel, rather than a cream with aloe added. To apply, gently rub the gel into the injured skin and leave it to do its healing work. Keep in mind that if the wound is deep, medical attention is advised.

*Oil of oregano is a great in-case-of-emergency remedy. Oftentimes, travel -- especially air travel -- can bring with it exposure to all sorts of bacteria and viruses that can lead to colds or even the flu, and oil of oregano offers a quick remedy. Kids will often feel better after a few hours, or at least by the next day.

In liquid form, the smell and taste of this tincture may be repulsive to kids, so try adding the drops to a quarter cup of juice, or as little beverage as possible. Alternatively, rub a few drops of the liquid on the soles of your kids' feet and cover immediately with socks. The socks will hold in the vapors and the oil will be absorbed through pores and help to speed up recovery.

*Probiotics are another essential addition, as they can really help kids' bodies recover from the annoying problem of diarrhea. Diarrhea frequently plagues travelers -- especially those traveling to areas where water may be contaminated with bacteria. Probiotics are helpful because they help to repopulate the beneficial bacteria in our intestinal tract. When this "good" bacteria is plentiful, the body can fight off harmful bacteria that are causing the problem. Just make sure you take probiotics that can withstand the heat from travel, as they can be fragile.

*Magnesium is another great and safe mineral to pack in case you may need it. Magnesium is a wonderful remedy for both constipation (it has long been recognized as an aid to bowel irregularity) and sleep issues with children.

Purchase a capsule form -- magnesium citrate is a good formula -- and supply to your child as needed. If your child is too young or unable to swallow the capsule, open it up and empty the contents into a small amount of juice or milk. Magnesium is even safe to take on an empty stomach and can be taken right before bed.

With a little advance preparation, you can ease those worries that your trip will be spoiled by unexpected health problems.

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