Besides helping us perfect our tans or providing warm temperatures for our favorite outdoor activities, the Sun gives us an awesome display of colors along the Delaware and Maryland coast.

Sun Safety Tips for the Delaware Maryland Beach

Summer Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean in Dewey Beach, Delaware.

Some people, especially those with fair skin, red or blond hair or blue eyes, are more susceptible to sunburn than others, but everyone should take precautions when they're on the beach or on the water.

Please Note: This information is provided as a guideline and not intended as medical advice. If complications arise due to a sunburn or sun exposure, contact your doctor immediately.
Basic Sun Safety Tips
  • Limit outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the summer months. Therefore, play golf, tennis, swim, etc., in the early morning or late afternoon.

  • Wear a good pair of sun glasses to ward off the sun from your eyes and some kind of protection -- the looser the better -- on your head.

  • Clouds and particulate matter in the air scatter sunlight. Therefore, you may receive a "surprise sunburn" even on a cloudy day.

  • Some drugs & cosmetics -- Tetacycline, diuretics, major tranquilizers -- may increase susceptibility to sunburn because they contain substances that cause the skin to absorb more of the sun's radiation. These "photosensitivity reactions" may also be caused by birth control pills. Your physician can advise you about medications that can cause problems in the sun.
Using Sunblock
  • If you are among those likely to burn, use a sunblock with a PF of 15 or greater. You can use a lower number if you are less likely to burn. An ounce of sunblock will effectively cover your entire body.

  • Apply sunblock at least 15 to 30 minutes before venturing out into the sun and re-apply at least every hour. Re-apply more often if you are perspiring heavily or swimming.

  • Use sunblocks with higher PFs on areas that need extra protection like the tip of your nose, your ears, your collarbone, the tops of your feet, and your shoulders.

  • Do not use sunblock on your lips. Instead, use only sun protection products designed specifically for lips.

  • Keep all sunblock and sun medications away from your eyes.
Sunburn Remedies


Deep pink. Heat and Burning. Mild Sunburn Cool compresses of equal parts
milk and water.
Red, visible strap lines.
Itching, stinging.
Moderate Sunburn Aspirin every 4 hrs., over
counter steroid creams.
Bright red. Blisters, fever,
chills, nausea
Severe Sunburn See doctor. Take aspirin and cool
baths with 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal added

More Sunburn Relief Tips

  • Take a cool bath -- not ice cold, but cool -- and don't use bath salts, oil or bubble bath.

  • Do not scrub your skin or shave your skin. Use a soft towel and pat your skin dry.

  • Use a sunburn remedy containing aloe vera.

  • Use a light moisturizer or a dusting of powder to ease chafing.

  • Stay out of the sun. If the sunburn is severe or you are blistering, feel faint or nauseous, see a doctor immediately.
Your Children & Beach Safety
  • Babies under 1 year of age should stay out of the sun. Use lightweight, light-colored clothing. Always cover a baby's head with a hat.

  • Use sunscreen with a PF of at least 15. Do not use a sunblock with a PF of more than 4 on babies under 6 months old due to the possibility that the baby's skin could absorb the chemical and his or her system could not eliminate it.

  • Use extra caution around reflective surfaces.
Jellyfish Stings and Other Beach Hazards

Jellyfish can be more harmful than they appear with long, spindly tentacles that can inflict red welts and severe pain. If you should happen to come into unfriendly contact with one, however, here are some remedies to ease your pain, provided by Beebe Medical Center Emergency Department.

  • Wash the area with sea water
  • Apply vinegar, or if it is unavailable, rubbing alcohol or baking soda
  • Remove tentacles with tweezers
  • Apply shaving cream and shave area with a butter knife or tongue blade.
  • Reapply vinegar and apply cortisone cream
  • A physician should be contacted immediately if any of the following symptoms develop: nausea, vomiting, joint pain, headache, shortness of breath or a stumbling gait.

One of our visitors raves about the benefits of pressing a fresh slice of papaya on the sting. Welts are supposed to disappear within minutes.

Coping With Stings

Bees, hornets and wasps are among the more common stingers in our area and their stings can cause pain, swelling and redness for up to 2 days. Here are some ways to relieve the discomfort. To avoid stings, walk calmly away from insects and avoid wearing perfume or bright yellow clothes when outdoors.

  • Drag the stinger and sting sac out of the wound with a needle. As a last resort, a credit card can be used. Do not use tweezers because they could cause more venom to be squeezed out.
  • Wash the wound with soap and water and apply cold compresses to reduce the swelling.
  • Take an aspirin or Tylenol if you feel continuing discomfort.
  • If you experience dizziness or difficulty breathing, get emergency help immediately.

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