5 Beach Injuries to Avoid And What To Do If They Happen

The beach can make for an unforgettable family vacation destination, a romantic couple’s getaway, or be the perfect spot for that ladies’ weekend away or bachelor extravaganza. About the only thing that can mar a great beach trip is being injured. Read on for some common beach injury issues to watch out for, how to avoid them, and how to treat them if they do happen.

Water Safety

One of the most obvious issues with beaches is the possibility of getting hurt in the water. The United States Lifesaving Association’s National Lifesaving Statistics report that in 2016 there were 88,620 beach rescues. You don’t want to be one of these, so everyone in your party who plans on getting in the water should know how to swim. Get fins for the kids to strengthen their kicks and help them stay above the water longer and in stronger currents. Always respect the waves, especially in places where there’s a drop off close to the shore. Strong surf can easily toss a person onto their head or neck, causing serious injuries.

Watch Out For The Sun

Perhaps the most common injury at the beach is sunburn. Sunburn injures your skin making you more susceptible to skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone wears sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF of at least 30. Higher is even better, particularly for children. For pain care associated with sunburn, have some after sun or aloe vera cream on hand.

Keep Hydrated

There’s water everywhere at the beach, so it’s easy to forget that you need to keep drinking and spend some time in the shade. It can be easy to develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke by spending too much time in the sun. Bring lots of water and encourage children especially to come in every half hour and drink. Bring an umbrella if no shade is available and be sure to spend some time under it during your visit. Even if you’re not in the sun long enough to bring on true heat exhaustion, it’s still easy to develop a headache, so bring along some over-the-counter pain meds for pain care. If anyone develops cramps, offer pain care with rest and fluids, particularly those with electrolytes. If cramps don’t go away or are accompanied by nausea, dizziness, or a fever, get to urgent care right away.

Surf’s Up

Surfing is great fun, but it can cause injuries. Sport Medicine Australia estimates that there are about 2.2 surfing injuries experienced for every 1,000 surfing days. The most common injury for surfers is a leg injury, following by injuries to the head and face, the trunk and back, and then the shoulder or arm. If you are slammed off your surfboard by unexpectedly strong waves, don’t fight the flow. Curl into a ball and roll along with the ocean’s movement. If a surfer has been injured, particularly in the head, neck, or spine, the first priority is to protect them from drowning by getting them out of the water. After that, concentrate on pain care and keeping them still until experts in emergency care arrive.

Clear The Beach

Running up and down in the sand is fun and relatively safe, but it’s important to scan the beach for hooks, glass, sharp shells, and even the odd stinging sea creature before letting children run around freely. If you play volleyball, know that about 63% of volleyball injuries occur because of jumping. If you don’t play regularly or are not in shape, know your limitations.

Don’t let the possibility of beach injury keep you from having a great time with friends and family. Take precautions, find out where medical providers are before you go in case you have an emergency, take a few basic pain care and first aid items with you, and then have fun!

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