Despite your best efforts to keep everybody safe during your beach vacation, accidents may still happen. And no, we don’t mean shark attacks considering that the chances of any encounter and risk of attacks are pretty low. We’re talking more about minor injuries and illnesses like cuts, bruises, stomach pains, and others. Fortunately, many of these are simple to treat – if, you have a well-stocked first-aid kit, that is. There are inexpensive store-bought kits available that contain most of the first aid beach essentials, or you can assemble your own using the list below as a guide.
Running around and playing games at the beach can be fun, but they can also be the cause of a painful ankle sprain. A common first aid for such injury is the application of a cold compress which helps to ease pain and swelling. And the sooner the treatment is applied, the sooner it can do its job of reducing the pain and swelling.
About sprains, swelling occurs as fluid leaks from blood vessels. By applying a cold compress on the affected area, you are causing the vessels to constrict, which then reduces the tendency of the fluid to ooze. The less fluid that leaks from blood vessels, the less swelling results. Inflammation and muscle spasms are the two most common causes of pain and a cold compress eases both.
Ice packs come in different types. You can actually make your own using a clean towel and some ice. There are also commercially produced ice packs. Some are bags of gel that turn into ice packs by putting them in your freezer. There are also ice packs designed to turn cold instantly by simply squeezing them. If you’re looking for an ice pack to add to your beach first aid kit, we suggest buying the latter type for convenience.
Aloe Vera Cream
We can’t help but talk about sunburn whenever we talk about the beach, so it only makes sense that you have something in your first aid kit to deal with it. And no, sunscreen won’t do you any good if you’re already burned, so you’ll need something else like an aloe vera cream or gel.
An aloe vera lotion or gel is an ideal first aid for sunburns as it helps with the itching and stinging associated with a bad burn. Besides, aloe vera oil can moisturize the skin, helping you avoid the peeling normally associated with sun damage. Keep in mind though that although aloe vera can be used to treat minor sunburns, more severe burns may require medical care from your doctor.
Alcohol and Bandage
Cuts are pretty common at the beach, especially at the soles of the feet. They can be caused by a lot of things, from sharp rocks and seashells to discarded fishing hooks and beer or soda cans. You can avoid getting injured by wearing a pair of beach sandals or water shoes, but in case you forgot to bring them or are unfortunately cut despite your best efforts to protect your feet, then you’ll need some alcohol and bandages to treat the injury. Deeper cuts may require cleaning and stitching at the local emergency center, but your simple first aid skills and supplies should be a good first line of defense.
Ginger tablets are great first aid solutions to seasickness. If you often feel dizzy or nauseated while swimming, then you’re probably prone to seasickness. Yes, seasickness doesn’t only happen when you’re onboard a boat or any water vessel. It can also happen while you’re swimming off-shore and the swell is rolling. Also, seasickness can occur when you stop and tread water or float in the same spot out in the open water regardless of whether there’s a swell or not. In any case, one of the best first aid solutions to this particular problem is a ginger tablet so be sure to pack some in your first aid kit.
Beachgoers often experience a bout of stomach pains considering the variety and amount of food they eat during their picnic at the beach. The usual symptoms like belching, bloating, stomach upset, heartburn, and acid indigestion can be treated with an antacid. It also helps relieve extra gas and feelings of pressure or discomfort in the stomach.
Various things on the beach can trigger an allergic reaction, from tree and flower pollens to coral toxins and jellyfish stings, and more. When you come in contact with these things, chemicals known as histamines cause the tissue in your nose to swell making it stuffy, your nose and eyes to run, and your eyes, nose, and sometimes mouth to itch. You may also get an itchy rash on your skin. If you feel these symptoms and suspect an allergy attack setting in, you’d be very glad to have antihistamines in your first aid kit. Antihistamines reduce or block histamines thereby putting a stop to the allergy symptoms. However, keep in mind that although these medicines work well to relieve symptoms of different types of allergies, they can’t relieve every symptom.
Antihistamines are available in different forms like tablets, capsules, liquids, nasal sprays, and eye drops. You can buy antihistamines over-the-counter in most pharmacies, but the stronger antihistamines will require a prescription from your physician.
Note: You’ll want to avoid taking antihistamines when driving since doing so tends to make you sleepy. Drowsiness is one of the major side effects of some antihistamines. In fact, because of their powerful sedating qualities, antihistamines are also the active ingredients found in numerous over-the-counter sleep aids.
Beach picnics wouldn’t be complete without a delicious meal or snack. Whether you decided to cook your food at the beach or bring something you already prepared at home, you’ll want to make sure that it’s cooked or prepared properly. That’s because eating spoiled or undercooked food can lead to an unpleasant bout of diarrhea. Of course, this is totally preventable by following proper food packaging and preparation methods. For instance, if you are bringing food to the beach, be sure to keep them in a well-insulated beach cooler with plenty of ice. If you’re planning a beach barbeque instead, consider cooking the meat longer than you normally would at home.
But when you consider that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, then you’ll still want to prepare for the worst-case scenario, and bringing along some antidiarrheal medicines is one of the best ways to do that.
Okay, so this doesn’t necessarily have to be in your first aid kit and you can basically put them alongside food items in your beach cart. But wherever you decide to put it, just make sure that you bring one since vinegar is considered to be one of the best first aid to jellyfish stings.
The severity of jellyfish stings can vary greatly. Some stings usually cause minor discomfort, while others can cause several allergic reactions and extreme pain. In any case, applying a dose of vinegar on the affected area can help to counter or inhibit the spread of venoms and toxins released by the jellyfish. However, keep in mind that the best treatment can vary by type of jellyfish. That said, it is still best to call the attention of a lifeguard after applying vinegar to make sure that the patient receives the appropriate treatment.
Keeping a pair of tweezers in your first aid kit is a must. You’ll need this to extract objects that are too small to be handled with bare hands like small shards of glass mixed in with the sand or splinters from boardwalks and docks. You will also need tweezers to remove any remaining stingers during a jellyfish encounter. Until the stingers disappear, there’s a continued risk for more venom to be discharged.
When choosing a pair of tweezers, invest in a pair with a narrow point and solid grip. Also, choose slant-edged tweezers because they often work better than straight-edged tweezers for pulling out extremely small items.
Consider bringing some fresh, clean towels along with you to the beach. These can really come in handy in emergencies. You can use it to create your own cold compress by wrapping some ice from the cooler with it. You can also use it to clean and wrap wounds.
Globo Surf Overview
When assembling your own first aid kit for the beach, be sure to customize it according to the needs of your family or group. This means that aside from the first aid beach essentials, you should also include in your kit any medications that any family or group member might need like maintenance medicines for instance. More important than having these at hand is knowing how to use them properly and effectively. Having the right items and the requisite knowledge on how to use them will help to ensure that you won’t end up spending the rest of your vacation at the hospital.