Monday, June 6, 2011

Safety At The Beach

Oh yeah! It's summer! And if you will be at the beach most of the time, you can outsmart beach bummers, from swimmer's ear to jellyfish stings.

Rip currents which are channels of water moving rapidly away from shore can occur at the beach. According to Christ Brewster, president of the US Lifesaving Association, if you're swept away, don't make a beeline for land because you will only exhaust yourself swimming against the current. Remain calm and swim parallel to the shore to get out of the current, or you can tread water; the current will eventually peter out.

Stung by jellyfish? Cover your hand with a towel and pull off any tentacles from your skin, then rinse it with ocean water. Avoid fresh water rinse since it can worsen the sting.
If you have hives or shortness of breath as a reaction beyond the pain at the site, seek medical attention.

For extra protection from the sun's rays, take a beach umbrella with an ultraviolet protection of UPF of 50 or more. Be sure you choose one made of dark tightly woven material. If your umbrella can be seen through it, the sun rays can see your skin too.

Prevent itchy bites from sand mites by wearing a mild insect repellent. If you got the bites, apply Benadryl cream or calamine lotion to calm the itch. Avoid scratching as it could cause an infection.

If you've got water trapped in your ear canal, dry out your ears with drops like Swim-Ear (available at drugstores) to prevent an infection. Another option is to make your own with equal parts white vinegar and alcohol. After swimming, place a few drops in your ear then let drain.