6 Common Beach Injuries – how to prevent and treat them
Here is a list of the most common injuries and how you may prevent them or be better prepared in case they occur.
Jellyfish stings leave thousands of very tiny stingers called nematocysts in the skin. These stingers can continue to release (or "fire") jellyfish venom (poison) into the body.
Do not scrape off any stingers still in the skin, because it is thought to make stings worse.
Research has shown that adding vinegar – a common remedy – is a good first step. The vinegar stops any stinging cells that haven’t yet delivered their venom from firing their venom load. DON’T wash the area with fresh water, as that encourages more cells to fire! Do not apply ice or ice packs to a sting.
Seek emergency treatment if:
- Stings cover large areas of skin
- You have severe symptoms or a serious allergic reaction
Sand Flea bites
In many cases, a trip to the beach means a sand flea bite or several bites. A bite from a sand flea is most likely to occur at dawn or in the evening and night time hours on the beach or other sandy areas that are near water.
Despite its size, the bite from a sand flea is quite painful. In fact, most of the time the bite is more painful than one from a typically larger mosquito. In addition to pain, the bite causes a rash on the skin that can persist for several days. A fever may also occur. The welts or hives produced from bites are very itchy. Scratching the bitten areas should be avoided in order to prevent the development of an infection. Scratching will also prolong the symptoms of swelling, itch, and skin redness.
Treatment procedures and prevention steps for a sand fly bite are similar to those of mosquitoes.
Vacationing at the beach often includes the consumption of alcohol, which can lead to problems if you are not careful. Drinking alcohol in the summer heat can also cause a number of health problems such as hypoglycemia, heart rhythm irregularities, dehydration and weight gain. Dehydration can also increase the risk of having a stroke (especially for people with high blood pressure). Alcohol poisoning can occur when a toxic amount of alcohol has been consumed, usually in a short period of time. The affected individual may become extremely disoriented, unresponsive, or unconscious, with shallow breathing. Because alcohol poisoning can be deadly, emergency treatment is necessary.