It’s not the sun, it’s the SAND – Who would have thought it? Children and adults who buildcastles and dig in the sand at the beach are at greater riskof developing gastrointestinal diseases and diarrhea thanpeople who only walk on the shore or swim in the surf.

People who playfully bury their bodies in the sand are ateven greater risk. Children, who are more likely than adultsto play with and possibly get sand in their mouths, standthe greatest chance of becoming ill after a day at the beach.Researcher Chris Heaney says, “This is one of the firststudies to show an association between specific sand contactactivities and illnesses.”
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If you wore flip-flips and a baseball cap, you were taking a risk, because they expose your ear tops and foot tops to the sun (and to skin cancer). And who remembers to put suntan lotion on these two places? There’s even more of a problem if you drove to the beach.

Dermatologist Anthony Peterson says, “Those areas of their bodies have very little protection. Combine that with the fact that most people using sunscreen frequently overlook those parts of their bodies when applying it.”

Believe it or not, dermatologists say we should use a sunscreen with an SPF of least 15 EVERY day, whether or not we’re heading for the beach. And we should wear it in the fall as well as in the summer.
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A family trip to the seaside may become an antiquated custom, thanks to global warming. In North Carolina alone, the ocean is expected to rise one foot in the next 25 to 75 years, which would erode 2,000 to 10,000 feet of the beaches there.

In, Andrea Thompson quotes geologist Orrin Pilkey as saying, “We have no way of predicting what sea level rise will do to erosion rates, except to say that they will increase.” Hurricanes, which are on the increase due to climate change, can also destroy beaches.
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