Beach houses have it all: fresh air, beautiful balcony views, rooftop barbeques, and open-air living. There’s one thing, however, that should be required in a beach house.
A First Aid Kit.
You might own a beach house, or you might be renting one for a family vacation. Either way, it’s bound to be a great time for all!
But there always seems to be an accident or an injury when families get together at a beach house. Why so?
Here are a number of reasons:
- Much of our time is spent outside
- A general lack of clothes (skin is exposed)
- Sunscreen isn’t always applied
- Often barefoot
- Unfamiliar area (sidewalks, beaches, ocean)
- Harmful creatures in the ocean
- Biting insects on the sand
- Rough water
- Risk-taking (surfing, swimming, and running)
It makes sense that accidents at the beach are to be expected. After all, we’re outside all day under the hot sun and we’re swimming in an ocean with living creatures that bite and sting!
I’ve stayed in a number of beach houses and occasionally I find a first aid kit, however, in the times I need one the most (jellyfish and bees) a first aid kit was nowhere to be found.
This article highlights 10 reasons every beach house needs a first aid kit. Whether you live in your beach home year-round, visit occasionally on vacation, or rent it out to others, make sure your house is equipped for every minor emergency.
10 Reasons Your Beach House Needs A First Aid Kit
Sandy beaches are soft and enjoyable to lay in as long as it’s not too hot. If you’re spending time at the beach, chances are you’ll end up engaged in a game of soccer, football, or Frisbee.
It’s hard to resist a spectacular catch so you decide to dive on the sand. As it turns out, sand can leave a mark, especially close to the water where sand is wet and compacted.
A sand scuff isn’t something to worry about and it can easily be cleaned up with some antibacterial ointment and a band-aid.
If you’re on a snorkeling vacation, you might have chosen a spot with coral. After all, coral reefs are great for diving and exploring. It’s a beautiful living creature that fish and other marine life live in and around.
If you are snorkeling, be careful not to rub against it. Coral has razor-sharp edges that can slice open skin. It can even penetrate a dive suit.
Outside of snorkeling, coral often injures surfers and bodyboarders who brush up against it after a wipeout.
If you’ve been cut by coral you’ll need to clean out the cut to reduce the chance of infection and you’ll need a bandage to protect it while it heals.
Rocks have surprised many beachgoers. At most beaches there should be signs for rocks in the ocean, however, it’s not always the case.
Everyone who decides to swim should be aware that rocks and other hazards could be lurking under the ocean surface.
Rocks found in the ocean are usually worn down and smoothed by waves, however, it’s not uncommon to scrape or bruise your leg while wading in the water. If there are large waves or a strong current, the water can push you into rocks.
Rocks are great for snorkeling but not great when we run into them!
Why are there always bees at the beach? This is a great question – I’m sure they love the fresh air and sunshine just like we do!
If you’ve ever walked on a beach you’ve likely seen a few things on the ground: 1) sand crabs, 2) birds, 3) seaweed, 4) shells, and 5) bees.
It’s extremely common to be stung by a bee on the beach. Sometimes it comes from stepping on one and other times they are attracted to your food.
Bees will be more attracted to you if you’re wearing perfumes or waxy lip-gloss. Be careful with Burt’s Bees Wax because bees are attracted to the wax.
Sea urchins are beautiful creatures that can relax their spiny exterior and make them ridged. When threatened a sea urchin will make their spines erect. When erect they are incredibly sharp and will pierce skin.
But the problem doesn’t end there. Most people will grab a sea urchin spine and attempt to pull it out – only to break it into many pieces.
Sea urchins move very slow and only use their spines in self-defense. If you step on one it will be painful. Tweezers and disinfectant will help, however, you may also need medical attention.
A jellyfish sting is a common beach occurrence, though it shouldn’t be something to worry about. In North America, jellyfish aren’t as powerful as their Australian cousins. They can, however, still pack a punch.
If you’re stung by a jellyfish, look for vinegar in the first aid kit (and look in the kitchen). Pouring vinegar over the wound will neutralize the toxins and prevent the jellyfish tentacles from releasing more painful toxins (read more about jellyfish and how to treat a sting)
Sunburns are the worst, especially when you’re on vacation. Everyone envisions becoming tan on a beach trip, not sunburned and peeling.
We tell ourselves again and again “don’t forget sunscreen” but it only takes a few hours then it’s too late.
Apply sunburn early and often. Later in your beach vacation, you can ease off the sunscreen as long as you have a dark base layer.
It’s a good idea to keep extra sunscreen in a first aid kit, however, it’s a better idea to keep aloe vera and other medicinal moisturizers. There are a number of things you can do at home to help reduce sunburn, including using ice, anti-inflammatory pills, and cool baths.
You might try your hand at skateboarding near the beach. Maybe you want to skate to the corner shop to get food and drinks. You remember how great you were at skateboarding as a kid and think “why not”.
Next thing you know the wheels get stuck on a curb and you’re flying over the front of your board. If you’d only walked this wouldn’t have happened.
A first aid kit will help patch up your knees and hands and you’ll be back on the beach in no time at all. Of course, you’ll tell everyone it was a shark bite.
Beach Cruiser Mishap
Many tourist beaches have long boardwalks to walk and ride on. And most beach houses have a few beach cruisers.
It’s fun for exercise and people watching but beach boardwalks can get crowded in the summer and there is an occasional accident. People never know what side is for walking, what side for running, and what side is for bikes.
If there’s an accident, help your victim up and hobble back the beach house to find the fist aid kit.
At the beach you’ll be barefoot. We live in a foot-covered world and our feet are surprisingly weak. Hot sand is uncomfortable but the real damage occurs when hustling across the pavement or asphalt to the car.
You could have some light burning on the bottom of your feet or stub a toe on the curb. Either way, you better hope there’s a first aid kit with a lot of good stuff.
After reading this article you’re probably thinking, “going to the beach is dangerous”. Don’t worry, it’s not!
You will, however, want to be careful when you’re at a beach house. We tend to be outside more when we’re near the beach and we tend to take more chances in the surf.
The ocean water is healthy but there are rocks, coral, and various sea creatures that could harm us (it’s not likely if you’re careful).
Look for signs about rocks and coral, walk the beach to look for jellyfish washed up on share and avoid the perfumes and waxy lip gloss so you don’t draw attention from bees.
Stay in your lane on the boardwalk, but don’t hesitate to lay out for the “hail mary pass” on the beach – the pain will be worth it.
Thanks for reading another Beach Life blog post. Check out the website for more helpful tips and tricks to make your beach visit a safe and memorable one.