summer beach

A summer day at the beach is usually time well spent. Although unfortunately, injuries do happen. Photo: Courtesy of Matt Northam/Flickr

Summer means you’ll likely be spending more time at the beach and in the water.

That also means you’ll be increasing your risk for beach injuries, like sunburns and stings (from both jellyfish and stingrays).

If your default method of dealing with a sting involves peeing on it, read on because you are mistaken in how to properly treat one.

These tips will help you reduce risk of infection, all while avoiding public indecency charges!

In all cases, it’s best to find a lifeguard who has an understanding of the local marine life and will know the best course of action for treatment.

Jellyfish Sting

jellyfish

Jellyfish stings can be painful but don’t have to be the end of your beach day. Photo: Courtesy of esh2chan/Flickr

Perhaps the biggest misconception with jellyfish stings is that they need to get peed on immediately.

That won’t help at all.

First, remove any tentacles that are left over.

Then, rinse it with vinegar or apply baking soda paste which both can help deactivate the stinger, according to the Mayo Clinic.

If it’s extremely painful, try hot water or ice packs, to help ease the pain.

Also, take a pain reliever.

Stingray Sting

stingray

When a stingray feels threatened, it will release a poison from the barb at the end of its tail. Photo: Courtesy of Ocean Frontiers Diving

Getting stung by a stingray is the quickest way to end your beach day.

First off, try shuffling your feet to avoid getting hit in the first place.

Unfortunately, this method isn’t foolproof.

If you get stung by a ray, pour alcohol on the open wound and immediately get your wound into hot water. Get to a lifeguard immediately, if possible and they’ll help you further.

The sting isn’t what hurts, it’s the neurotoxins released by the stingray’s barb.

Since it’s a heat-labile protein, hot water will help deactivate it, all while reducing pain, which is why it’s important to get your wound into hot water ASAP.

Also, the less you move the better since the toxin travels through your bloodstream.

While it may not hurt at first, it will.

Put your wound into water as hot as you can stand but not above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, because you don’t want to burn yourself.

Leave it in for at least 45 minutes and wait until you can move without intense pain.

Sunburn

sunburn

Occasionaly, even though you swore you were under the shade, you still wind up sunburnt. Photo: Courtesy of drufisher/Flickr

Sometimes, no matter how many times you seem to slather on sunscreen, you still wind up looking a little red.

If it’s just a run-of-the-mill burn, treat yourself with aloe vera or hydrocortisone, which decrease pain and swelling.

Make sure to drink a lot more water than you normally do because your dehydrated skin couold use the extra H20.

It’s time to see a doctor if there is intense blistering or you have a high fever or nausea.

Those could both signal a second degree burn.

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