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Summer Beach Tips for a Healthy and Safe Trip to the Beach

Summertime is synonymous with long, sunny days at the beach surrounded by soft sand, cool water, and your favorite people. Protecting your skin from sunburns is a big part of beach safety, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Yes, you’ll want to slather on water-resistant sunscreen, reapply it often, and avoid the sunniest hours of the day if possible, But here are five other non-sunburn related tips for a healthy and safe trip to the beach.

Photo credit M Cheng via Flickr

1. Don’t Dig Holes in the Sand

Kids and adults alike love digging holes in the sand because, well, it’s fun! However, this is actually one of the most hazardous things you can do at the beach. Large sand pits have the potential to collapse and trap small children or even pets inside. Unattended sand holes also pose risks for lifeguards and other beachgoers who might accidentally step into your hole and twist an ankle. If you feel like digging, just make sure to fill the hole back in before leaving the site.

2. Understand the Nature of Rip Currents

Rip currents can be seriously deadly and are a main cause of beach rescues around the world. These wave patterns extend from the beach’s shore and past the wave break. Unlike an enclosed swimming pool, there may be no lifeguard on duty or at least nearby to provide assistance at your beach. The main thing to remember is that you shouldn’t swim against the current or drain your energy fighting it. Stay as calm as possible if you feel yourself being pulled out into the ocean. Then swim parallel to the shoreline and at a gradual angle back to the beach.

3. Know What to Do for a Jellyfish Sting

Jellyfish are absolutely beautiful creatures, but no one likes to be stung by one. Avoid all jellyfish in the ocean and ones that have washed up onto shore. If you have been stung, rinse the sting with vinegar and pluck out any visible tentacles with a sterile tweezers. It helps to soak the sting in hot water for a half hour, and to aid healing apply a natural homeopathic remedy to relieve pain and inflammation, such as Bye Bye Burns or Stop Rash. (If no remedy is immediately available, a quick fix is to urinate in your hand and apply it to the jellyfish wound. The ammonia in the urine with help. This one was learned after swimming and diving in open ocean water.)

Photo credit: Walter via Flickr

4. Learn About Water Conditions

Unfortunately, many of our lakes and oceans have become very polluted over the years, which means that water quality should be a concern on beach days. Any body of water filled with agricultural runoff, septic waste, or high levels of bacteria is a body of water you don’t want to swim in. Call ahead to your local park or beach’s office to ask about water quality conditions and whether certain areas are better for swimming than others.

5. Reconsider Your Beach Foods and Drinks

Aside from swimming and sunbathing, perhaps the best part of a beach day is the food and drinks. To keep your food safe, either consume anything that requires refrigeration within two hours or throw it out. Stick to hydrating vegetables and fruits, such as watermelon and pomegranate, to replenish your body’s water supply while you’re out in the heat and sun. Also, avoid excessive alcohol on the beach to prevent dehydration and making poor decisions that put your health and safety at risk.

You can learn more about staying healthy the natural way all summer long by reading these Seagate blog articles:

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