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Hilton Head Beaches

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The Travel Channel recently ranked Hilton Head Island number three in its "America's Best Beaches" program.
It's no wonder that Hilton Head Island's beaches have gained so much attention. The shoreline is clean, wide and sandy.
Come and enjoy the island's 12 miles of pristine beaches.

Following are some general guidelines and Hilton Head Beach regulations as well as some beach first aid tips.

Public Access to Hilton Head
Island Beaches:

The Town of Hilton Head Island provides four (4) Public Beach Accesses as follows:

1. Alder Lane Beach Access off South Forest
Beach Drive - Parking available.

2. Beachfront at Coligny Circle - Parking available.

3. Driessen Beach Park at the end of Bradley Beach Road - Parking available.

4. Folly Field Beach Park off Folly Field Road - Parking available.

Plantations with beaches have numerous beach access points for their guests.

Prohibited at the Beach all seasons

* Liquor, beer or wine.
* All forms of glassware.
* Shark fishing.
* Horses.
* Sleeping on the beach after midnight.
* The operation, launching or landing of motorized watercraft ( except in emergencies )

Seasonal Rules
From April 1st - September 30th

No Stunt Kites between 10AM-6PM.
No sand sailing between 10AM-6PM.
No fishing or surf casting in designated swimming areas.
No surfboards or other articles to ride the surf in designated swimming areas.
No frisbees or other team sports involving a ball in designated swimming areas.
No games with metal components (such as metal horseshoes) in designated swimming areas.

Animal Regulations
for all Hilton Head Beaches

October 1st - April 1st -
No leashes required at any time. The animal is required to be under positive voice control.
April 1st - May 22nd - Animals must be on a leash between 10AM and 5PM.
May 23rd until Monday of Labor Day weekend - NO animals allowed on the beach between 10AM-5PM.
Tuesday after Labor Day - September 30th - Animals must be on a leash from 10AM-5PM. On the beach or not, local law requires owners to clean up after their pets.

Beach Safety

* Protect your skin: Sunlight contains two kinds of UV rays -- UVA increases the risk of skin cancer, skin aging, and other skin diseases. UVB causes sunburn and can lead to skin cancer. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor containing a high rating such as 15.

* Drink plenty of water regularly and often even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. They can make you feel good briefly but make the heat's effects on your body worse. This is especially true with beer, which dehydrates the body.

* Watch for signs of heat stroke: Heat stroke is life-threatening. The victim's temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red, and dry skin; changes in consciousness, rapid, weak pulse, and rapid, shallow breathing. Call 9-1-1 or your local EMS number. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body by wrapping wet sheets around the body and fan it. If you have ice packs or cold packs, place them on each of the victim's wrists and ankles, in the armpits and on the neck to cool the large blood vessels. Watch for signals of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down.

* Wear eye protection: Sunglasses are like sunscreen for your eyes and protect against damage that can occur from UV rays. Be sure to wear sunglasses with labels that indicate that they absorb at least 90 percent of UV sunlight.

* Wear foot protection: Many times, people's feet can get burned from the sand or cut from glass or shells in the sand.

Ocean Safety

* Learn to swim. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim--this includes adults and children. The American Red Cross has swimming courses for people of any age and swimming ability. Contact your local Red Cross chapter for information on courses.

* Stay within the designated swimming area, ideally within the visibility of a lifeguard.

* Never swim alone.

* Check the surf conditions before you enter the water. Check to see if a warning flag is up or check with a lifeguard for water conditions, beach conditions, or any potential hazards.

* Stay away from piers, pilings, and diving platforms when in the water.

* Keep a lookout for aquatic life. Water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants. Leave animals alone.

* Make sure you always have enough energy to swim back to shore.

* Don't try to swim against a current if caught in one. Swim gradually out of the current, by swimming across it.

Beach First Aid Tips

Sunburn - Soak in cool water unless skin is broken or blistered. Ibuprofen may help.

Bee Stings - Apply a baking soda paste and ice. If allergic, seek medical help.

Jelly Fish Stings - Apply vinegar, sugar, salt or dry sand. After 20 min., rinse with salt water.

Crab Bites - rinse well, disinfect, and apply antibiotic ointment. May need stitches.

Tick Bites - DO NOT attempt to remove the tick. Cover with vaseline or a film of oil. When insect is free, remove with tweezers. Look for flu-like symptoms for up to two weeks. If this occurs, seek immediate medical attention.

Snake Bites - CALL 911. Use a compression dressing just above site, NOT a tourniquet.

Oyster Shells - cuts and abrasions can result in serious infections. Medical treatment advised.

Alligators - Do NOT go near alligators. They run very fast. Do NOT feed or tease

Sting Ray - rinse with water and apply heat to neutralize sting. Seek medical attention.

Enjoy the Sunshine!

For more information about Hilton Head Island visit:

About the Author

Jeff Palmer is an internet marketing expert and web designer.

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