The beach may look like an inviting and relaxing place with its warm sand and glistening waves. But without the proper precautions and knowledge, the beach can be a dangerous place.
Here are tips on how to prevent your day from being ruined by the beach’s three biggest hazards – the sun, the water, and the creatures lurking in the water.
- Wear an SPF of at least 15; remember areas like the tip of your nose, your ears, and your lips.
- Be sure your sunscreen includes titanium dioxide or zinc oxide for both UVB and UVA protection.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours.
- Avoid prolonged outdoor activity between 10 and 3 when the sun’s rays are most powerful.
- Only swim where a lifeguard is on duty.
- If you get caught in a rip current – a fast moving, river-like channel of water offshore – swim sideways until you’re out of it. Do not try to swim against it.
- Avoid alcohol if you plan on swimming, as it impairs your judgement.
- If you use a raft, be sure to use a leash to avoid being separated from it, and don’t float out farther than you can swim back.
Sea Creature Safety
- Although highly publicized, shark attacks are very rare. But to lessen your already small chances of encountering a shark, be sure not to wear shiny jewelry in the water and never swim at dusk.
- Jellyfish stings are more irritating than dangerous, but you can avoid them by asking the lifeguard how prevalent jellyfish are in the water that day and choose not to swim. If you are stung, washing the affected area with sea water and rinsing with vinegar may provide some relief, as will removing the tentacles with tweezers. Ask the lifeguard for assistance if nausea, vomiting, joint pain, headache, or any other side effects occur.
Keep these safety tips in mind, and don’t forget the importance of seeing a dermatologist annually for full body skin cancer exams. Use the Vitals doctor finder to find the right dermatologist for you.
Sources: webmd.com and beach-net.com