Risks at the Beach: survival hints
I know, summer is here at last, and you just can’t wait to go to the beach with your kids. Soft sea sand to walk on, iodine-rich sea air and sunshine ... there are so many reasons why the seaside is so good for our children.
Today though we want to give you a number of survival hints to avoid the risks your children are exposed to on the beach and when they swim. We have already discussed what to do in the case of sunburn, which is the number one enemy of your child's skin.
But it is not just the sun you need to worry about, because even sand can hide all sorts of dangers. Children are curious little souls and everything they touch goes straight into their mouths. So watch out for cigarette butts, bottle caps, and pieces of glasses that may be hidden in the sand. Before digging in your beach umbrella always check the area and, if possible, sift or rake over a small area to make sure there are no sharp or toxic objects.
Another common problem may be rashes and fungal infections. Here’s how to avoid them:
- Never allow your child to lie on the sand without a costume : sand may cause rashes or skin irritation of the genital area.
- Do not allow your kids to walk barefooted: when you take them to the showers, for a drink or the pool, get your children to wear sandals or thongs.
- Change your kid’s costume after a swim: if your child is going to play in the sun, then you don’t need to change his costume, but if he is going to nap or play in the shade, then it’s a good idea to change into a dry costume. Damp costumes may cause infections.
- If you are using a public beach bed, use your own beach towel.
Finally, always be very careful when your child is swimming. Make sure your child is wearing water wings or a swimming ring, and never go too far out where you can’t touch the bottom, even if you are a really good swimmer! If your child is a toddler, never let him play at the water’s edge on his own. A child playing in the water is usually very noisy: if your child suddenly stops being noisy, find out why. You may need to check on your child to make sure that everything is ok.
What should you do if your child gets stung by a jellyfish? Firstly, keep calm, and try to calm down your child, reassuring him that there is nothing to worry about and that the stinging sensation will soon pass. Check that there are no pieces of jellyfish stuck to your child’s skin; if there are, protect your hands (for example with a plastic bag) and remove them immediately. If you do not have a disinfectant, wash the area affected with sea water.
Make sure that your child does not scratch the sting and do not try DIY cures! The right thing to do is to apply an aluminium chloride based astringent gel, that we recommend you take to the beach with you.