It’s officially beach season in Florida and if you’re a regular, like me, then you already know to stock up on water, snacks, sunscreen, and toys. Lots of toys—especially if you’re going to be there a few hours!
I love beach days in the summertime! There’s nothing like the salty sea air and the hot sun that make me feel like a true Floridian. It’s getting close to our annual summer beach trip to Captiva which has got me making my lists and packing the essentials.
This summer I’ve had to add some unconventional items to the list due to a recent outbreak of Necrotizing Fasciitis along our Florida Gulf Coast. Experts are saying to avoid warm seawater and brackish water if you’ve got open wounds— even the smallest blister or bug bite puts you at risk for contracting this flesh-eating bacteria. So, of course, I’m freaking out!
Knowing that it’s going to be almost unavoidable when I have 2 summer beach trips planned this July, I’ve tried to plan ahead by cleaning small scraps with antibacterial soap and cream, and covering them with clean bandaids until they heal. Some other tips I picked up from our family doctor are below.
Ways to Avoid Necrotizing Fasciitis & Recognize Symptoms:
- If going in the water, cover any open wounds, cuts, or scrapes with a liquid bandage or New Skin and waterproof bandages.
- Wear water shoes to prevent cutting your foot in the water.
- Rinse with clean fresh water after being in the seawater.
- Remove old bandages and clean wounds with antibacterial soap. I’m bringing along bars of Dial antibacterial soap and Band-Aid brand Waterproof Tough Strips.
- Avoid seawater and brackish water if you are immune-compromised. My mom, who had a kidney transplant 6 years ago will NOT be going in the water.
Watch out for the following symptoms and seek medical treatment immediately if you experience any of them. Some of the early “flu-like” symptoms include:
- Swelling or red area of the skin that spreads rapidly
- Severe pain beyond the swollen or red area of the skin
- Nausea & Diarrhea
Later stages of the infection may include:
- Ulcers, black spots, or blisters
- Color change
- Oozing of pus from the infected area
Necrotizing Fasciitis is rare and there are very few cases infecting swimmers in Florida but it’s better to be safe, rather than contracting this flesh-eating bacteria. Take precautions and protect yourself and your family.
Related: Toddler Bath Caddy
What do you think about the recent outbreak of Necrotizing Fasciitis? Does it influence your decision to swim in seawater? Share in the comments below.
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Meagan is in her mid-thirties and has been married for almost 10 years. She is a proud boy mom, happily navigating her way through the toddler years. She met her husband 20 years ago in high school; they got married 10 years later after graduating from the University of South Florida. Meagan currently helps run a family business with her parents and sister, while blogging about her life and taking care of her three-year-old son full time (at work)!
When she isn’t chasing her son around and constantly picking up Matchbox cars, she enjoys spending time with her family on a beach anywhere. She also loves decorating and organizing her home, delving into fun DIY projects, bargain shopping, and eating at unique restaurants. She also loves Barbecue anything and a good show or movie on Netflix.