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Sand-Related Issues at the Beach: How to Enjoy the Sand Safely

Sand under someones feet.

Ah, the beach – a place of relaxation, fun, and the soft, warm embrace of sand beneath your feet. But as any seasoned beachgoer knows, sand isn't always as benign as it seems. From burns to impaction, here's a guide to common sand-related issues at the beach and how to prevent them for a safe and enjoyable seaside experience.

1. Sand Impaction

Sand particles can easily become trapped between toes or under the nails, leading to discomfort or irritation.


  • Rinse your feet with fresh water after leaving the beach to remove sand and debris.

  • Use a pumice stone or foot scrubber to gently exfoliate your feet and remove any trapped sand.

  • Keep your toenails trimmed short to reduce the risk of sand getting trapped underneath.

2. Burns

Hot sand, especially during peak sun hours, can cause burns on the soles of your feet if walked on barefoot for extended periods.


  • Wear protective footwear such as sandals or water shoes with thick soles to shield your feet from hot sand.

  • Avoid walking on the sand during peak sun hours, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

  • Test the temperature of the sand with your hand before walking on it barefoot to ensure it's not too hot.

3. Sand Collapsing

Walking or running on loose or wet sand can cause instability, leading to ankle sprains or falls.


  • Watch your step and be mindful of the stability of the sand, especially near the water's edge where it may be wetter and softer.

  • Walk or run on firmer, packed sand whenever possible to reduce the risk of sinking or collapsing.

4. Burying Objects

Children (and sometimes adults) may bury objects like toys or sharp shells in the sand, posing a risk of injury if stepped on.


  • Keep an eye out for any objects buried in the sand before walking or playing in the area.

  • Encourage children to use designated play areas for digging and burying objects to minimize the risk of accidents.

  • Consider using a metal detector to scan the area for buried objects before setting up your beach spot.

5. Sand Fly Bites

Some beach locations are prone to sand flies, which can bite and cause itching or allergic reactions on the feet and ankles.


  • Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, including your feet and ankles, to deter sand flies.

  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers your legs and feet to reduce exposure to sand fly bites.

  • Avoid sitting or lying directly on the sand in areas where sand flies are prevalent.

While the beach offers endless opportunities for relaxation and fun, it's essential to be aware of potential sand-related issues and take precautions to mitigate them. By following these simple guidelines, you can enjoy the sand safely and make the most of your beach day without worrying about unexpected hazards. So, slip on your sandals, grab your beach towel, and head to the shore with confidence, knowing that you're prepared to tackle any sand-related challenges that come your way.


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