Tybee Ocean Rescue responds to several heat-related injuries

Tybee Ocean Rescue responds to several heat-related injuries

TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - Hot temperatures and direct sunlight are bringing more than just sunburns to beach goers.

Over the weekend, Tybee Island Ocean Rescue tended to more than a dozen heat-related injuries and illnesses, including some nasty burns. But not where you might think.

It's common to prepare your body for sun and heat exposure with sunscreen, but there are other parts of your body that need attention too.

The beach has plenty of written rules, but one unwritten rule that you might want to consider before you head to the beach when it's in the 90s, is bring and wear a pair of shoes that can handle the heat. An Ocean Rescue captain tells me over the weekend they saw several people who had severe burns, nearing second degree, on the bottoms of their feet after walking through the sand and part of the parking lot.

"Shoes are definitely a must. If you happen to burn your feet, notify a lifeguard or send someone over to one of the lifeguard towers, and notify them so we can get an EMS unit to assist you," said Tybee Ocean Rescue Cpt. Todd Horne.

With temperatures reaching the 90's, surface temperatures on the sand and on the pavement get well over 100 degrees.

"It's hot as…it's hot," said Kari McCommon, visiting from Colorado.

"It's hot, it's terrible. It's miserable out here. Wet Willies is saving me right now," said Reggie Lipzitcez.

"Yeah, it's hard to hide from the sun around here. It kindly chases you all over the place," said Larry Brooks, Rip Tide Bait and Tackle.

"The current readings I have right now are in Celsius...converted over, it's about 140 degrees out here, 160 on the surface temperature for the pavement," said Cpt. Horne.

Cpt. Horne says it was those temps that forced several people to go to the hospital with near second degree burns on the bottom of their feet.

Horne says it's bad enough for adults to go through that, but several children left unattended had to be swept up by lifeguards before they suffered the same injuries.

"Parents and guardians have to watch their kids, because they get into this hot sand and the kids won't realize their feet are burning until it's too late and they're all blistered up," said Cpt. Horne.

"You have to keep in mind our little ones, our children, are more likely to get burned more quickly with the temperatures between 130 and 150°. I can't imagine it would take more than a few minutes of exposure to cause some bad burns," said Urgent Care 24/7 Nurse Practitioner Darcy Glascock.

Of the 13 heat-related calls, Tybee Ocean Rescue has tended to over the past few days, five of those were children.

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