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Practice Safety When Enjoying Beach and Water Activities

By Patti Roberts

June 28, 2018

June 28, 2018                                                                        






Reduce Risks for Summer-Related Injuries and Infections.




Patti Roberts, PIO

(850) 401-6353


DeFuniak Springs, Fla. – Summer is in full swing, and the Florida Department of Health in Walton County (FDOH-Walton) wants residents and visitors to stay healthy and safe all summer long. Take precautions to limit exposure to injuries and illnesses commonly associated with beach and water activities.




  1. Wear sunscreen. Sunburns are not only miserable while they are healing, they increase the individual’s risk for heat-related illnesses and skin cancers. Apply broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating;


  1. Wear beach shoes. Items buried in the sand or sandy water bottom can cause injuries and expose the injured person to infection. Wear beach or water shoes on the beach and when swimming by the shore.


  1. Keep wounds away from water. Many bacteria grow in warm, wet environments. As the summer sun warms our waters, the bacteria that naturally live in them multiply faster. People with open wounds, cuts or scratches can be exposed to bacterial infections through direct contact with seawater or estuarine water. Individuals with poor immune function are at risk of infection, even when they do not have visible wounds. Stay out of the water when you have open wounds. Immediately clean wounds acquired during beach or water activities and seek medical attention if wounds show signs of blistering, skin breakdown or infection.


  1. Cook seafood before eating it. Bacteria that live in the water can also live in the marine life. Some bacteria, when consumed, can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses, severe blood infections or death. Individuals with poor immune function are at increased risk of severe complications from consuming raw seafood. Proper cooking will kill most bacteria that occur in seafood and other foods. Thoroughly cook oysters and other shellfish, such as by frying, stewing or roasting, to eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses in the meat.


      If you should have any questions, please contact DOH-Walton at (850) 892-8021 or visit the Florida Department of Health’s Beach Water Quality website



About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit