Beach Injuries - Prevention and Treatment

The beach is calling your name! Make it a great beach outing by staying safe and preventing injuries.

Here are the most common safety issues at the beach:



  • Exit the water and scrape the tentacles off your skin with a flat surface like a driver’s license.
  • Do NOT pull the tentacles off with your hands unless you have protective gloves.
  • Rinse the sting with seawater then vinegar, then soak in hot water.
  • Do NOT urinate on the sting, which could cause the stingers to release more venom.



  • Shuffle your feet when entering the ocean to cause the stingrays to swim away.
  • If you do get stung, exit the water and apply direct pressure with a clean cloth or towel to stop any bleeding.
  • Remove small barbs of the stinger with tweezers, but do NOT remove from the chest or abdomen.
  • Soak the wound in hot water.
  • Seek medical attention to determine if you need further treatment.
  • If you receive a penetrating wound in your head, chest, or abdomen, call 911 immediately!



  • If the beach has lots of shells or rocks, consider wearing aqua shoes to keep your feet safe.



  • If you’re playing volleyball or other sport on the sand, be careful when running or jumping in areas with varying sand heights.
  • For a sprain, ice your ankle for 5-10 minutes at a time.



  • Fill up your water bottles with WATER, not with caffeinated drinks that dehydrate you.



  • Pick a safe beach – check your local beach website, such as, for the status of the water quality and strong tides.
  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • Swim near a lifeguard tower.
  • If you’re caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore and yell for help.



  • See our article on sunscreen and treatment for sunburns.


Your best bet is to take a beach first aid kit with you – make sure it includes sunscreen, aloe, gauze, bandage strips, alcohol wipes, antiseptic swabs, antibacterial wipes, sting relief swabs, tweezers, Ibuprofen, and aspirin.

If you do receive an injury at our San Diego beaches, please stop in to our office for treatment – no appointment is needed!


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