Sunbathing in Gran Canaria: Useful Tips to Enjoy Your Holiday

Sunbathing in Gran Canaria can be good fun. We all love the sunshine and one of the main reasons for having our holidays in a sunny place is to go home with that all important tan. There are a few things that you should remember about the Canarian sun and the beaches, though.

When the sun comes out or you start your holidays it is very tempting to cram a years worth of sun into 2 weeks. Unfortunately this is most likely to end in frazzled tempers and bodies. By taking sensible precautions much of this can be reduced, and make a great holiday sunbathing in Gran Canaria:

  • Slip on a T-shirt.
  • Make sure the children wear hats that protect their heads, faces and necks.
  • Use a high factor sunblock – at least factor 15 or 25 if you have fair skin.Apply the cream before you leave your apartment and re-apply every hour or so and after swimming. Remember the old saying, "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun"?
  • Take the advice of the locals - go into the shade, have a long lunch and a siesta, in the middle of the day.

Safe Sunbathing in Gran Canaria: What to do if you get Sunburnt

  • Cool the area by sponging with cool water
  • Put on after sun cream or Aloe Vera
  • Don't go out in the sun
  • Don't pop any blisters
  • Take Paracetamol for the pain, which you can buy from any pharmacy 
  • See the doctor for advice if it doesn’t improve, or if it is over a large area

Safe swimming in Gran Canaria

Generally our beaches are very safe and gently shelving but sometimes getting into the water, you can encounter small rocks etc embedded in the sand. A stubbed toe on a rock can be very painful, so take care.
Most of the larger beaches have life guards patrolling certain areas. We do have a flag system in place – green for safe, yellow for take care and red for danger. Please heed these flags. The Atlantic hits our shores and can be very powerful.

Occasionally jellyfish can be brought in on the tides. They like the warm water and are food for the turtles that live around here. If jellyfish are reported in the area, then announcements are made over a tannoy at the beach. You wont see the sea emptying of people with these announcements but it’s a good idea to take care. The tentacles are the parts that sting you and you may not feel any pain until you leave the water. You may see a distinctive red weal on your skin.

Safe Swimming: What to do if you are Stung by Jellyfish

Treatment for a jellyfish sting is usually with vinegar or pee. I’m not sure about the pee theory and think I would be a bit horrified if someone started to pee on my jellyfish sting. So, we’ll stick to the vinegar theory. There are often restaurants nearby who would be happy to give you some or the lifeguard may have some to hand. Soak or rinse the area in vinegar for 15-30 minutes to stop the jellyfish from releasing their toxins. If you do not have vinegar available, rinse in sea water,70% isopropyl alcohol. Do not use fresh water. Fresh water will cause the nematocysts to continue to release their toxin. For the same reason, do not rub the area, apply ice or hot water.

Remove tentacles with a stick or a pair of tweezers. Wear gloves if you have them available. Then get to a doctor or the hospital. If the person breathing appears affected or they have been stung in the mouth then its more urgent and so dial 112 for an ambulance.

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