Health Hazards You Should Always Avoid At The Beach

If a day at the beach is your idea of getting away from it all, you're certainly not alone. The beach is the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature. However, there are hazards at the beach you should always avoid if you want your trip be a safe one.

Two dangerous conditions deal directly with waves. Rip currents can pull swimmers farther out into the ocean, and what makes them so perilous is that they can be difficult to spot. Rip currents are responsible for 80% of rescues performed by beach lifeguards. Another serious situation formed by waves is a shorebreak, which occurs when waves break directly on the beach. These sometimes large waves are powerful and can knock people down, causing spine or other injuries (via National Ocean Service).

Another beach hazard involves the water itself — or rather, the quality of it. Beaches can become contaminated with all kinds of pollutants that can result in beach closures. These toxins can include untreated sewage from boats and runoff systems; trash; and other pathogens (via Environmental Protection Agency).

Hazards in the sky and sand

Being in the sun is also a beach risk. A sunburn can happen quickly if you are not wearing sunblock, and it can result in painful blisters. First-degree sunburns usually affect the outer layer of skin and improve in about a week. Second-degree sunburn damage goes deeper than the outer layer of skin and can take weeks to heal (via Medical News Today). Dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion are also threats while spending time in the sun. Signs of too much heat exposure include fatigue, light-headedness, or confusion (via Johns Hopkins Medicine).

While walking barefoot in the sand feels wonderful, stepping on a jellyfish does not. Jellyfish stings cause swelling, itching, and pain. Over-the-counter medications can treat most jellyfish stings, but severe reactions can include stomach pain, headache, difficulty when breathing, and heart problems (via Mayo Clinic).

Staying alert is your best bet when spending time on the beach. Pay attention to what is going on around you, always read signs, wear sunscreen, and drink plenty of water for an awesome experience.