Health Tip: Monitoring Beach Safety

When to avoid the sand and surf

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(HealthDay News) -- Hitting the beach is a great way to spend the late spring and summer. But what if your local beach is contaminated with germs that can make you sick?

Before you hit the beach for a swim, take a look around to spot any signs of pollution or contamination, says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Avoid swimming if the beach appears loaded with trash, oil slicks or other pollutants that muck up the sand and water.

Also avoid hitting the waves after a heavy rain. And make sure there aren't any pipes from nearby streets that empty near the beach.

Instead, opt for beaches that are regularly monitored, and pay attention to any warnings or contamination alerts.

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