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Bites at the beach

beach; sea; creatures; sting; bite; jelly; fish; river; crocodile; ;shark; blue; ringed; octopus; stonefish; puffer; first; aid; safety; safe ;


Safe swimming

It is lovely to go to the beach and Australians are lucky that we have such beautiful beaches.  However, there are some things you need to know about being safe at the beach.

* Swim between the flags. No, not just because of sharks. The lifesavers who patrol public beaches also check to see if there are other dangers around like jellyfish, and many more people drown than get bitten by a shark. shark
sand bug * Look where you are walking.
* Don't pick things up that you don't recognise. If you recognise something dangerous don't pick it up, go and tell an adult about it.
* Don't poke around rocks with your fingers; use a stick if you feel you absolutely must find out what is under there.

Find out what sea creatures could be dangerous in your area, and then avoid them.

In Australia you need to look out for blue ringed octopus, stinging jellyfish and poisonous fish like stonefish and puffer fish on the reefs. Your local water safety program will give you information on what you should look out for in your area.

* Jelly fish can sting you if you are swimming.  Jelly fish stings can be painful and sometimes cause a rash. A cold pack (not ice) can help.
* If you live in, or are visiting tropical areas always ask if the sea is safe before you swim. ,   
* Stingrays are beautiful graceful creatures to watch but you need to avoid them. Their sting (the barb on their tail) can be very painful although not usually fatal. You are most likely to get a jab on your leg or foot as they like to hang out on the bottom of the ocean lying flat. You would need medical attention to be on the safe side.

Sometimes you can get bitten by sandflies, wasps or even seagulls which might be hanging around because they hope to share whatever you are eating. See our topic Bites and stings so that you know what to do, just in case!

Don't forget about rivers

In rivers in the North of Australia you may meet crocodiles, and there are sometimes dangerous snakes near rivers anywhere in Australia.  Always ask about safety before swimming in rivers and never swim unless you are with a grown-up.

Dr Kim says:

Dr Kim

"Swimming is good fun and good exercise but always check to make sure you are swimming in a safe place."



Did you know?
* A mother alligator carries her babies in her mouth to take them in and out of the water. I'm glad I'm not an alligator, aren't you?
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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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