An occasional look at products the travel industry insists we need.

WHAT: Pedia-Pak

AIMED AT: Parents who want to be prepared for anything.

HOW MUCH: $65.95

BUT DOES IT WORK? The kids are in their car seats, the luggage is in the trunk -- and as you head out the door, it might be worth your while to grab the Pedia-Pak, a well-organized nylon bag filled with almost 30 first-aid items. It's designed for infants and toddlers, but most of the contents can be used by the whole family.

However, at 31/2 pounds and roughly the size of a toaster, it takes up a big chunk of valuable suitcase space and is cumbersome on bike trips or to carry on a plane. But if you like the convenience of a traveling medicine cabinet, and aren't put off by that price, it's an easy addition to most car trips. You'll be plenty prepared if Junior turns an ankle on the trail (instant ice pack, ace bandage), seems to be running a fever (digital thermometer, children's Tylenol or Motrin) or picks up an unwanted companion (Precision Compression Tick Tweezer).

For those who never quite managed to sign up for that first-aid course, there's also a 75-page handbook with step-by-step instructions to help you deal with the serious stuff.

-- Stephanie Beard

Pedia-Pak is available at