You go to the beach to have fun, but sometimes accidents happen. So here’s how to handle some potential beach bummers. Courtesy of the folks at Quick and Simple Magazine.

  • You ran into the ocean and didn’t see the jellyfish lurking beneath the waves and now you feel like your foot has been raked over hot coals. What should you do? First, wash off the affected area in seawater – fresh water can cause additional venom to be fired into your skin. Then, use a credit card or a sea shell to scrape off any stingers that may still be on the skin. Once the tentacles have been removed, you can safely neutralize the toxins with a splash of vinegar and soak the stung area in warm water to relieve the pain. But see a doctor if you get stung on the face, or the redness and irritation get worse over the next 24 hours. Kids who get stung should always see a doctor, because jellyfish are more toxic to children.
  • Dehydration. Heat makes your body work extra hard, so you’re likely to get dehydrated faster than usual. What can you do? Have two cups of water every hour that you’re outside. Also, avoid strenuous activity during the hottest hours of the day – the sun is at its strongest during 10AM and 2PM. Also, seek shade the minute you start to feel tired or cramped, and drink something with electrolytes – like Gatorade. Get to the doctor if you experience any signs of heat stroke – which can include hallucinations or feeling delirious.
  • Gritty grub. I know it’s called a sandwich, but no one wants to actually eat sand. So pack items like sandwiches in individual zip-lock bags – not foil. And if you’re bringing fruit, choose apples or pears over berries, which retain moisture on their surface and will act like a magnet for sand. Remember this: The sun acts like a giant broiler, so dairy and meat products need to be kept on ice in a cooler.