The weather forecast suggests that a beautiful day at the beach is on the way. Safety is always number one, so you know to bring sunscreen and hats to protect yourself from the sun. But should you be worried about the water too?
A day at the beach could be anything but fun if microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa (that come from animal and human feces) or cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) cause an upset stomach or skin and eye irritation. These micro-organisms can be present in the beach sand as well as the water.
Here are some things you can do to make your day at the beach safer:
• Before you go, check with your beach or local public health unit for the latest water quality information.
• Don’t swim near obvious sources of pollution such as storm drains or runoff entry points.
• Try not to swallow water while swimming.
• Take a shower after swimming or playing at the beach.
• After swimming or playing in the sand, use proper hygiene practices such as washing your hands before you eat.
• Don’t put any items that have been in contact with the sand or water into your mouth.
• Sit or lie on clean towels to lower your contact with the sand.
• Properly dispose of litter to avoid attracting unwanted wildlife and to keep the space safe and clean for your next visit.