Beach Bummers and How To Avoid Them
There is nothing like digging your toes into the white sand of a beach on a sunny day. Vacationers flock to shores to frolic in the water and relax while listening to sound of the gentle waves. However, there can be some big beach bummers…
While beautiful to look at through an inch thick piece of glass at the zoo, these slimy wonders will ruin anyone’s day with their stinging that some describe as “burning” sensation. Depending on the species, some stings are worse than others.
Fix It: DO NOT pee on the sting. It’s a myth and can actually make the sting worse. Urine can aggravate the stingers, causing them to release more venom.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, victims of a sting should exit the water as calmly as possible to avoid triggering more venom release. Avoid scratching and touching the area until you can rinse away nematocysts. Lifeguards should be able to help you, but if there is no one on duty, you can proceed to step 2 on your own.
- The area should be rinsed with saltwater. According to Joseph Burnett, a dermatologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center, a rinse with any kind of freshwater “dilutes the salts outside the cell, unbalancing the solutes and this causes nematocysts in the cells release more venom. A rinse with vinegar will also work.
- Remove any lingering tentacles by coating them with a slurry of seawater and sand. Use a razor or straight edge (like a credit card) to scrape it away.
Note that some species are deadly and will require a trip to the hospital. Australia is one of the locations with these more threatening jellyfish.
Bummer: Sand Fleas
Yup. These little blood-suckers are tiny and can jump. So that beach towel you are lounging on is no barrier.
Fix It: Sand fleas are most active in the evening, dark of night and around dawn. The love cool, moist air so don’t run to the beach after it has been raining. Most insect repellents will also help combat bites. If you do get bitten, expect a small red bump. A simple baking soda and water paste will help. Just apply it to the bite and let it sit on the area and dry. A soapy shower after your visit to the beach is also a must.
Fix It: This is more than just a “bummer” and a Band-Aid isn’t going to be of much use, so medical attention is obviously needed. However, you can limit your chances of becoming JAWS Kibble. According to Oceana, you should avoid:
- Swimming at dusk, dawn or night (same time those sand fleas are out for a late-night snack)
- Wearing jewelry or shiny bathing suits (to a shark they make you look like a giant scaly fish)
- Going near steep drop-offs, channel openings and sandbars
- Swimming alone, isolation makes you an easy target
- Entering the water with an uneven tan and brightly colored clothing a sharks see contrast extremely well
- Waters being fished
There are many risk factors and debates when it comes to sun exposure. Skin damage and increased risks of developing skin cancer are just two of the long-term issues we are still learning about.
Fix It: Here at Tourist Meets Traveler, we have an amazing natural sunburn remedy that might even be able to find in your hotel room. Click HERE to see that remedy… The best way to avoid this bummer is to use a “broad spectrum” sunscreen. UVB as well as UVA rays may cause damage to skin even on a cloudy day. (Yes, tanning beds have these concentrated harmful rays too.) The minimum SPF level is arguable, but the mistake most make is failing to reapplying the protection throughout the day. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends reapplying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every two hours.