Stay Jellyfish Free on these California Beaches
It’s that time of year again, when the weather starts getting warmer and you find yourself grabbing the sunscreen lotion and a towel as you head towards the beach. Cooling off on those blistering hot days in the cool ocean waves has become a favored tradition by all those close enough to enjoy a beach day. Although picturesque, the beach does tend to attract some hidden dangers that can spoil your fun if you are not careful. One of these covert beach inhabitants is that of the jellyfish who can be found in all oceans.
Jellyfish Encounters in California
There are many types of jellyfish that can range in size from small opaque blobs to rather large and colorful, with long tentacles floating beneath them. It is important to realize that not all jellyfish are harmful, but some do have tentacles that can deliver a terrible sting. The jellyfish use their tentacles to assist them in catching food, as a fish will become paralyzed from their sting and allow the jellyfish to consume it. A tentacle simply brushing against you can leave you with a painful stinging and itching reaction. Even if the jellyfish are washed up on the beach and appear to be dead, the tentacles can still deliver a powerful sting. It is best to avoid any you see in the water and out of it. Most jellyfish stings are not medical emergencies and can be treated with a vinegar rinse or soak in warm water to relieve the sting. You should proceed to a hospital or medical professional if a sting from a jellyfish causes any difficulty in breathing, swollen lips or tongue, muscle spasms, or if the sting was directly in the eyes or the mouth. It is also imperative to seek assistance if you are stung by a very dangerous jellyfish, like the box jellyfish. They produce a fast acting toxin in their tentacles that can be fatal to animals and humans.
How to Be Safe
Although the prospect of being stung can be a terrifying situation, it is not one that should keep you away from the beach or from enjoying a swim in the ocean. There are many ways to avoid jellyfish and being stung by their tentacles. First, you should search for guarded beaches. Beaches that are monitored by lifeguards are a great way to avoid an encounter with a jellyfish. These guarded beaches will post signs or fly a purple flag that indicates dangerous marine life may be present in the waters at this time. Jellyfish tend to be more active during the summer months from May to October, with the peak season in August or September. Although the summer months tend to be the period in which jellyfish become more prevalent, you may still not even encounter one. To completely avoid an encounter, staying out of the water will be your safest approach to avoiding a jellyfish sting. It can be difficult to enjoy your beach day or stay cool in the summer by not splashing in the ocean, but there are other ways to be safe and still have fun. Another precaution you may take is wearing a wetsuit while you swim in the ocean. The wetsuit will act as a barrier and protect your skin from any jellyfish tentacle stings.
Anti Jellyfish Repellent
Preventative measures such as the use of anti jellyfish cream or lotion can be beneficial in repelling the sting of a jellyfish. It works by creating a barrier on your skin that prevents the sting from jellyfish tentacles. This product is available in combination with UVA/UVB SPF protection to help keep your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays. Taking other precautions such as acquiring a first aid kit that accompanies you to the beach will help you deal with any emergency that may arise. Be sure that your kit is equipped with items such as mild hydrocortisone cream, and even an oral antihistamine to relieve itching or swelling. Lastly, speaking with lifeguards, officials of the health department, and even local residents will greatly inform you of jellyfish whereabouts and how you can avoid them as you enjoy swimming along the California coast. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that a beach is completely jellyfish free, but following the aforementioned precautions and preventive measures will assure you remain free of jellyfish stings. The following are beaches with increased lifeguard activity which will provide a decreased likelihood of encountering a jellyfish. Life guards patrol the beaches and waters to ensure public safety.
Top 5 Safest California Beaches
Soft sandy beaches spanning over 1.5 miles of California coastline, Coronado Beach is a perfect choice to enjoy the sun and the surf. In this San Diego area, you will find many lifeguard stations present in an effort to keep it safe for all who venture out. This beach boasts pristine water and spacious areas equipped with picnic tables, restrooms, and even tide pools. A very safe beach with calmer water, perfect for paddle boarding or boogie boarding. Clear and cool water makes it incredibly easy to see what you are stepping on as you adventure out into the ocean. Whether you are building sandcastles or enjoying a swim, Coronado beach is one of the safest areas to experience.
Crissy Field East Beach
Located near San Francisco, this beach offers quite a fun and scenic area to enjoy your sunny beach day. At this spot, you are able to indulge in views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and The Marin Headlands. Touted as one of the safest beaches, it has become a very family friendly area where you will find many enjoying an idyllic stroll. Sometimes windy, this beach offers many activities including biking, fishing, kite surfing and more.
Santa Monica State Beach
The diverse area of Santa Monica offers a northern beach where you will discover beautiful sandy beaches and the southern beach that offers grassy parks along the beach. Whichever you choose, both are incredibly safe with lifeguards present and are one of the top places to take kids when on a beach outing. Play areas, picnic tables, and sport courts offer other means of entertainment besides the standard beach fun. This area is also home to the famous Santa Monica Pier, where you can find many arcade games, amusement park rides, aquariums, street performers, and restaurants to satisfy you.
Arroyo Burro Beach
The Arroyo Burro beach, located in Santa Barbara, is a hidden gem that many locals refer to as Hendry’s beach. There has been a great effort to protect and keep this beach clean by the many who live in the area. This California beach offers calmer waters for swimming and beginner surfers. Safe and relaxing swimming, and fishing can be accessible at this location. It remains linked to the Douglas Family Reserve, which means it is an excellent place for hiking and biking as you take in the scenic beauty of the city and ocean.
Carmel City Beach
Beautiful blue water and white sandy beaches are the perfect reason to visit Carmel City Beach, located in Monterey, California. This peaceful and magnificent area is an ideal vacation spot, perfect for kids and even pets. Whether merely wading or playing in these cool crystal waters, you will be enchanted by Carmel Beach. The calm coastline can give you that reconnection to nature as you experience the green jogging trails. If you are feeling more adventurous, some of the best surfing spots, such as Pebble Beach, are located just a little south of here.
There are many safe beaches to explore on the California coastline as you safely swim and enjoy these beautiful beaches just as the locals do every day. The efforts of city officials and lifeguards will keep you informed and aware to avoid any possible encounters with jellyfish. Also, if you take the necessary steps and precautions, you will only decrease the likelihood that you will even cross paths with a jellyfish. Utilize products such as anti jellyfish creams and sun lotions to further safeguard yourself and your loved ones as you head into the surf. California beaches offer a variety of fun activities and scenic landscapes that you should experience and enjoy without fear or trepidation.