Surf First Aid

by | Jul 1, 2011 | Surf Travel

From intense sunburns to a gnarly reef rash, being prepared and educated to treat any emergency situation that may arise during a surf trip is vital.  Below we have listed some of the most common problems that may occur and how to treat them while traveling.

Sunburn – Start the treatment by staying out of the sun and relaxing in a cool place.  Applying a cool compress and aloe can help with a quick relief.  You can also take a mild temp bath with Aveeno Collodial Oatmeal to help with soothing and anti-inflammation.  If the sunburn is severe and blistering, see your physician. He or she can prescribe topical steroids to help minimize the inflammation.  Wear sunscreen at all times!

Bug Bites – Getting a mosquito bite can result in itchiness or irritation.  It is best to first apply ice to the bite and then calamine lotion can be used to soothe your itching skin.

Reef Rash – Getting dragged across the reef is never fun.  Immediately rinse the open wounds with clean water and alcohol/vinegar.  Rinse daily, change bandages and apply ointments.

Dehydration – Drinking too much alcohol during a surf trip and not enough water can cause dehydration.  Make sure to drink plenty of fluids through out the day and before/after surf sessions.  In general it is recommended to consume at least eight 8oz glasses of water per day and more if in extremely hot temperatures.

Sea/Motion Sickness – Being sick on a boat trip is not the way you want to spend your 10 days in paradise.  Most medications for treating motion sickness should be taken at least 30 min prior to getting on the boat.  Avoid alcohol and heavy foods prior to boarding the boat charter.

Food/Water Sickness “Bali Belly” – usually lasts for about 24 hours if treated effectively.  The best way to treat this is by preventing it from happening, don’t drink the tap water and practice good personal hygiene (wash or sanitize hands regularly).  Over the counter remedies like Pepto-Bismol can help to alleviate your problems.  Prescription medication and vaccinations like Cipro or Ciproxin can help prevent this problem, but consult with a physician before using.