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Posts Tagged ‘Kid Friendly Beach Safety Tips’

Australia Makes Sun Protection Fun, and Also Kid-Friendly!

Posted by E.G.D. on July 23, 2013

Yesterday, Mom (A.K.A Jody) sent me some really remarkably fun info for today’s “Tuesday Tally.”  Apparently, Australia has a slogan and a media campaign to encourage people to protect themselves from sun damage, and I would venture to say that they’ve made the whole information distributing process a heck of a lot of fun!

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide!

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide!

Let’s start with the slogan:  Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide.

That, my friends, is some incredibly fun alliteration, and it trips nicely off the tongue.  Seriously, try saying that ten times fast!  And how about getting your kids to say it ten times fast?  This slogan can easily be turned into a game, and it will help everyone remember the following 5 tidbits of vital sun protection advice (from the Sunsmart website):

  1. Slip on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  2. Slop on SPF30+ sunscreen – make sure it is broad spectrum and water resistant. Apply 20 minutes before you go outdoors and reapply every two hours.
  3. Slap on a hat that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
  4. Seek shade.
  5. Slide on some sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian Standards.

Advice can’t get any sounder than that!  Also, there is an adorable animated ad you can check on the website.  It features a catchy jingle and a sun-smart duck.  What’s not to love?

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide!

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide!

Apparently, the American Cancer Society has also jumped on the bandwagon, but they opted to break the alliteration series with a non-alliterative rhyme: “Slip!  Slop!  Slap!  And Wrap,” they write on their website.  I must say, that is A) not nearly as cool as the original and B) way too heavy on the exclamation points.  Why on earth would they put full-stop punctuation after everything but the last two words?  Give me the Australian tongue twister and commas any day!

So, next time you plan a day of fun in the sun, why not play it safe and start with Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide?  Sun safety seems seriously smart to me! -E.G.D.

~Originally published on July 12, 2012

~~~

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

“How’s the water?”

Posted by Jody on August 14, 2012

How often is your cherished shoreline monitored for dangerous bacteria?  Do you know how to find out the results of your beach’s latest water quality testing? Does your favorite stretch of coast suffer from water quality advisories and beach closures?

Beach water quality is often a concern for beach going vacationers and locals, alike. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Most beach closings are issued because beachwater monitoring detects unsafe levels of bacteria. These unsafe levels indicate the presence of pathogens—microscopic organisms from human and animal waste that pose a threat to human health. The key reported contributors of these contaminants are (1) stormwater runoff, (2) sewage overflows and inadequately treated sewage, (3) agricultural runoff, and (4) other sources, such as beachgoers themselves, wildlife, septic systems, and boating waste.”

Ask the lifeguard about beach safety issues.

Here are a few pointers you can use for your own peace of mind, along with your family’s health and well being, on your next outing to the lakeside or seashore:

1) Ask a lifeguard

It’s always a great idea to check with a lifeguard when you reach the beach.  They can give you the most up-to-date information on current surf conditions, safety issues and beach water quality.  Lifeguards are knowledgeable and helpful resources.

Lifeguard stand displaying yellow beach warning flag. Galveston Island, Texas

2) Check for the flag warning system

Larger beaches and beach districts have flag warning systems in place.  Look for the colored flags flying on the beach and at the lifeguard stations. Beach warning flag systems are not the same in all regions of the USA (and world). Uniformity can be found on Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf Coast beaches.  Chicago, Illinois has a simple three flag method designated by the Chicago Park District.

Beach Flag Warning System, Galveston Island, Texas – Note that the orange triangular flag is used for water quality concerns on Galveston Island.

3) Look for beach advisory signs

Beach advisory signs are often located at beach entry points and at various points along the sands.  Look for them and heed their warnings.

Louisiana Gulf Coast Beach Water Quality Advisory Sign

4) Check online before you head to the beach

Checking online for beach water quality is pretty easy.  For instance, I just searched “Chicago beach water quality” and found the Chicago (Illinois) Park District Beach Report page.  This page reveals a daily water quality guide. Chicago’s Beach Report web page also gives phone numbers for access to the most up-to-the-minute advisories and information.

Here are a few more of the helpful beach water quality monitoring websites I found simply by searching for the area by “(name of beach)”  and “beach water quality”:

Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM)  Coastal Alabama Beach Monitoring Program

County of San Diego (California) Department of Environmental Health  Beach and Bay

Tampa Bay (Florida) Water Atlas Florida Healthy Beaches Program

Georgia Department of Natural Resources (Coastal Resources Division)  Beach Swimming Advisories

New York City (New York) Area Beaches  Beach Quality and Safety

Oregon Health Authority Current Beach Conditions

Virginia Department of Health  Beach Monitoring

More helpful links:

The Natural Resources Defense Council site is packed with information that explains water quality concerns in detail, along with monitoring and testing facts. They have a five-star rating system highlighting 200 popular beaches across the United States.

United States Environmental Protection Agency Beach Monitoring and Notification page / Find your beach.

What do you think? Do you know of a helpful beach water quality monitoring site?  We’d appreciate it if you’d share your beach’s  info in the comment box below.

Have a safe and fun filled day at the beach!

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Sand and Shoreline, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

What’s the best way to treat a sunburn?

Posted by Jody on July 24, 2012

Sun protection at the beach

What’s the best way to treat a sunburn?

Good question!  Lucky for us, Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic, has great answers. Here are his tips from the clinic’s online article: “Sunburn treatment: What works?” Be sure to check out the entire piece for more information, including when to consult a doctor for sunburn care.

  • Keep it cool. Apply cold compresses — such as a towel dampened with cool water — to the affected skin. Or take a cool bath.
  • Keep it moist. Apply aloe or moisturizing cream to the affected skin. Avoid products containing alcohol, which can further dry out skin. Beware of sunburn treatment products containing anesthetics, such as benzocaine. There’s little evidence that these products are effective. In some cases, they may even irritate the skin. Benzocaine has been linked to a rare but serious, sometimes deadly, condition that decreases the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry. Don’t use benzocaine in children younger than age 2 without supervision from a health care professional, as this age group has been the most affected. If you’re an adult, never use more than the recommended dose of benzocaine and consider talking with your doctor.
  • Leave blisters intact. If blisters form, don’t break them. You’ll only slow the healing process and increase the risk of infection. If needed, lightly cover blisters with gauze.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. If needed, take anti-inflammatory medication — such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) — according to the label instructions until redness and soreness subside. Don’t give children or teenagers aspirin. It may cause Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal disease.
  • Treat peeling skin gently.Within a few days, the affected area may begin to peel. This is simply your body’s way of getting rid of the top layer of damaged skin. While your skin is peeling, continue to use moisturizing cream.

    Serious Sun Protection!

It’s so much easier (and less stressful) to prevent a sunburn than to have to treat one, whether the doctoring is for you or a loved one.

Web MD suggests the following easy steps to prevent sunburn:

  • Protect your skin from the sun.
  • Do not stay in the sun too long.
  • Use sunscreens, and wear clothing that covers your skin.

If you have any health risks that may increase the seriousness of sun exposure, you should avoid being in the sun from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon.

Check out both of these sites for more helpful information.  They are packed with very helpful advice for sunburn treatmentMayo Clinic: Sunburn, & Web MD: Sunburn – Topic Overview

Do you remember the days when the first sunburn of the season was a summer rite of passage? What was your home remedy for sunburn when you were a kid? Do you follow the current advice for sunburn prevention? Are those the two cutest kids ever?

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap! with Don’t Fry Day

Posted by Jody on May 21, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of the summer vacation season all across the United States. We Americans cheerfully mark the occasion with  family cookouts, super sidewalk sales, and the annual running of the Indianapolis 500. It’s the holiday when we begin heading for the beaches in droves looking like pack mules loaded down with coolers, kayaks, kids and kites!

Summer has Arrived! Rockaway Beach, New York City

The Friday before Memorial Day (this year it’s May 25th) is designated as “Don’t Fry Day” by The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. In an all-out effort to encourage sun safety along with skin cancer awareness and prevention, their website has many, many varied and valuable resources for you and your loved ones. You’ll find everything from sun smart vacation packing tips to info on protecting your eyes from UV rays. Here you can print educational coloring pages for the tots and suggested activities for parents and educators of school-aged children. You can even download and print out posters and stickers with the slogan “Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap!” as in: slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a sun hat, and wrap on sunglasses.

Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap! at the Amusement Park

The Slip!Slop!Slap! catchphrase was originally introduced by SunSmart in Victoria, Australia some 30 years ago. In the land down under it has since morphed into the catchy little ditty: Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide. (In this case, the “seek” means seek shade and the “slide” is for sliding on sunglasses.) Be sure to check out Sid the Seagull singing his rendition of the updated slogan, but please, don’t blame me if this memorable tune gets stuck in your head! I do believe that is the point!

The US EPA has an informative SunWise web page featuring educational resources and Don’t Fry Day activities for kids including crossword puzzles and the story of Joe-Larry, a magical exploring cat, who travels to a big lake, a farm, the desert, and South Africa, all the while making friends and learning about sun protection.

Even in the pool!

The idea of Don’t Fry Day was initiated by the Sun Safety for Kids organization in 2008. Their website also has lots of information and ideas for promoting sun safety. They offer numerous creative ways to introduce sun safety into the primary and secondary school curriculum.

Here are a few more great links for sun protection education, and skin cancer awareness information: SunSmart New Zeland, Melanoma Center, The American Cancer Society

Remember to Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap! Or, if you prefer, Slip, slop, slap, seek, and slide! Either way, have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend and a wonderful summer!

Comments? Suggestions? Tips? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment block below. Thanks!

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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