Safety Tips for Hitting the Beach

Have you heard about the numerous shark sightings along the shores of Florida, Cape Cod, and New York’s Fire Island? As scary as they are, sharks are probably one of the least probable dangers east coast residents are going to encounter at the beach. They’re more likely to stumble upon one of the following threats to their feet – the very same ones you can expect to find here along the shores of Lake Erie. All of these are much more within a person’s control than the comings and goings of a Great White, so make a note of these very real dangers that the beach poses to your feet and how to avoid them:

Sharp objects– broken glass and shells are ubiquitous on public beaches, and any close encounter between them and the sole of your foot can result in a puncture wound. What differentiates a puncture wound from other cuts on the foot is this: they don’t bleed much. You think it’s not that bad because, hey, it didn’t bleed. In reality, a puncture wound can be very deep and as such it’s at high risk for infection.

Burns– you’re going to play in sand and water, why bother with shoes? Two words: hot pavement. Two more words: hot sand. In the height of summer, ground surfaces heat up to levels that can quickly burn the soles of your feet. Be aware, and be prepared with protective shoes, especially if you have diabetes.

Sunburn– the skin on top of your foot is just as exposed as the rest of you and just as susceptible to burning and skin cancer. Always remember to extend your suntan lotion application all the way down to your toes.

Flip-flops– yes, wear them on the beach to help protect your feet from burns and sharp objects. But remember that they offer very little to nothing in the way of support, so keep your time in them to a minimum. If your summer outing includes a lot of walking in addition to your beach time, pack a second pair of supportive shoes to change into.

For more information about foot care, head on over to our website. And if puncture wounds, burns, pain, or injury plague your feet or ankles this summer, contact Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland in Solon, Ohio. Expert podiatrists Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey treat all disorders of the toes, feet, and ankles. Call us for an appointment at (440) 903-1041.