Beach Safety Tips
Beach vacations are a favorite summer pastime. The beach can be fun, but also very dangerous. Here are some tips for staying safe at the beach.
- Protect your skin: Sunlight contains two kinds of UV rays -- UVA increases the risk of skin cancer, skin aging, and other skin diseases. UVB causes sunburn and can lead to skin cancer. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15.
- Drink plenty of water regularly and often even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool.
- Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. They can make you feel good briefly but make the heat's effects on your body worse. This is especially true with beer, which dehydrates the body.
- Watch for signs of heat stroke: Heat stroke is life-threatening. The person's temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working.
- The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.
- Signals of heat stroke include:
- Hot, red, and usually dry skin, but in some cases such as during athletic activity while wearing a helmet, the skin may be moist
- Changes in consciousness
- Rapid, weak pulse, and
- Rapid, shallow breathing.
- Call 9-1-1 or your local EMS number.
- Move the person to a cooler place.
- Quickly cool the body by wrapping wet sheets around the body and fan it. If you have ice packs or cold packs, place them on each of the victim's wrists and ankles, in the armpits and on the neck to cool the large blood vessels.
- Watch for signals of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear.
- Keep the person lying down.
- Wear eye protection
- Sunglasses are like sunscreen for your eyes and protect against damage that can occur from UV rays.
- Be sure to wear sunglasses with labels that indicate that they absorb at least 90 percent of UV sunlight.
- Wear foot protection. Many times, people's feet can get burned from the sand or cut from glass in the sand.