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Home Blog Hitting the Beach as a New Amputee

Hitting the Beach as a New Amputee

Posted in: Amputee, Prosthetic

Posted on: by Level Four

Hitting the Beach as a New Amputee

Salty breezes, warm sand, and the sound of water lapping against the shore – can anything truly beat a trip to the beach? If you’re gearing up for your first sandy vacation post-amputation, take the following steps from your friends at O&P by Design to have the most relaxed, enjoyable trip possible:

1.Wear what makes you confident. Wearing beach apparel can be nerve wracking enough, and the new change to your body might amplify those feelings. Whether you stay in a flowy swim cover or go all-in with a swimsuit, choose clothing that you feel comfortable and content sporting. And remember – you’re probably more aware of others than they are of you!

2.Go with a loved one. Your recovery is filled with a support system that wants to help however they can. A first-time beach outing is a big day, and you’ll want a close member in your circle to join you. Not only can they help you balance as you move from your towels to the surf, but they’ll be an emotional support and boost of confidence.

3.Know your device’s design. Unless your prosthesis is specifically designed for aquatic activity, never hop into the water with your device. It can cause warping, rusting, and short circuiting of electronic components. If you know contact with water is likely, bring an older prosthesis you no longer depend on as a makeshift for the day.

4.Store your device with care. Sand can get trapped in the crevices of your device and linger for days after your visit. Before hitting the sand, wrap it in a tarp or store in in an unused cooler or tote to protect it from the sand and direct contact with the sun. Never leave your device in a hot vehicle, as the heat can melt and warp the plastic.

5.Apply sunscreen liberally. In addition to the sunscreen you’d already be wearing, make sure to cover your residual limb thoroughly and often. The thin, tender skin is more susceptible to burns and irritation, making it difficult to wear your prosthesis until fully healed.

6.Take care afterwards. Whether or not your device is designed for water use, it’s critical that you wash you prosthesis at the end of the outing with fresh, warm soapy water. Salt water and salty breezes can corrode the delicate components, and a quick rinse helps remove lingering sand that might do the same. Place in a well-ventilated area and reattach when completely dry.

If you have questions about additional care of your device or concerns about logistics at the beach, make an appointment with one of our prosthetists at O&P by Design today!