Tips to Stay Safe in the Surf and Sand at the Delaware Beaches
Beach Safety Tips
- Holes dug on the beach can be no deeper than the knees of the smallest person in your group, and must take up a small area.
- Do not leave any holes unattended, and fill it back in before you leave the beach.
- Only swim when lifeguards are on duty (10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.)
- Do not leave children unattended near the water.
- Do not swim near fishing piers, wooden pilings or rock jetties.
- No swimming or wading in designated surfing areas.
- Pay attention to signs and flags, and check with a lifeguard regarding beach conditions.
Tips for Rip Currents
- Rip currents can form in large open areas of water, including low spots and breaks in sandbars, or near structures such as jetties and piers.
- If caught in a rip current, swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline.
- If you are unable to swim out of a rip current, float or calmly tread water to conserve your energy.
- If you observe someone in distress in the ocean, do not enter the water. Get help from a lifeguard or call 9-1-1.
Are some people more likely to burn?
YES! The most susceptible are people who are blue-eyed, fair-skinned, tan poorly or have red or blonde hair.
Should I use sunscreen?
Yes. There is evidence that sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer and sunburn and slows the aging effects of the sun. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with the highest number, preferably 30 or greater, if you are more likely to burn.
Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours while you’re in the sun and more often if you are perspiring or swimming. The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Use a sunscreen with a higher protection factor on the areas that are more exposed: the tip of the nose, ears, collarbone, top of the feet and shoulders. On your lips, use only those products designed for that area. Keep all sunscreen and sun medications away from the eyes.
What are other ways I can protect my skin from the sun?
Along with wearing sunscreen, seeking shade helps protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Furthermore, covering up as much as possible with lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor, helps provide sun protection. Wearing sunglasses with ultraviolet protection and a hat, preferably with a wide brim, are also important protection measures.
Can medications add to sun sensitivity?
Yes. Some examples are Tetracycline and diuretics. These have the potential to cause a bad burn from an amount of sun that would not ordinarily be harmful.
What should I do about a bad burn?
Take a cool bath or shower and then apply a moisturizer, particularly one containing aloe vera. Drink extra water and take special care to protect your skin while it is healing.
Recommended Precautions Your Children and the Sun:
Children younger than 6 months old should be kept out of the sun. Dress your baby in sun-protective clothing and cover their head with a hat.
Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher, which also has broad-spectrum protection and is water resistant; however, minimize sunscreen use on children younger than 6 months old. Reapply sunscreen on your child every two hours or right after swimming or sweating.
While jellyfish look beautiful and harmless, their tentacles are an entirely different situation. The tentacles are long, spindly appendages that hang from the underside of the jellyfish. When they come in contact with the skin, the result is a red welt and severe pain. Gently wash the area with a mild soap and water, then apply liberal amounts of meat tenderizer (MSG, Accent, etc.) to the still-wet area. Benadryl will help lessen the reaction. If the reaction worsens, see a physician.