If you love snorkeling, and you’ve tried it before you know that there are many things that can go wrong when you are out there. If you want to be able to fully enjoy your snorkeling trips, you need to make sure you and your family or friends are100% safe by avoding snorkeling injuries. This means taking some precautions and following some rules. Most importantly, before we even start talking about safety and ways to prevent injuries we need to stress how good snorkeling gear is essential.

What are the most common snorkeling injuries?

Sometimes, no matter how well prepared you are, injuries happen.  The best way to deal with safety concerns in snorkeling is prevention, but you must also be prepared to act fast if problems do appear.

Here is a list of snorkeling injuries you are probably most at risk for when you go out snorkeling:

cramps snorkeling injuries


1. Cramps

Cramps are a commonly experienced problem among snorkelers. If you ever experience a cramp during your swim, position yourself with your head above water. Try to relax your muscles and rest to regain your energy. Most importantly, always let your companions know that you are having problems before it causes you to panic. This way, they can help you swiftly and effectively.


2. Injuries caused by marine life

While diving, always keep in mind that you are a guest in an unknown environment. This mostly means following a simple rule “look but do NOT touch”.
Keep your distance from wildlife, most of it will also avoid contact with you. However, some creatures may fell threatened if you come too close. Most injuries from underwater creatures are a direct result of unintentionally making yourself look like a threat.

3. Jellyfish sting

Jellyfish stings are in fact one of the most common snorkeling hazards you may encounter. Because they are a rather big problem, we decided to separate them in the list from common encounters with marine wildlife.

A sting from a jellyfish can be severe and may even scar your skin. The pain is caused by their venom which is subsequently released when the cell ruptures. For this reason, it’s important that you never touch the affected area.
If you got stung by a jellyfish avoid rubbing the area and do not clean it with mineral or tap water, rinse the spot with sea water instead. Finally, pour special jellyfish sting treatment or vinegar over the injury and apply dry powder over the area. Again, remember it is important that you never touch the affected area.

4. Stepping on a sea urchin

Another frequent snorkeling injury is accidentally stepping on spiny creatures.
The spines can puncture the skin and break off in your foot. In this situation, the best advice is to go to the hospital. If you can’t get to the hospital immediately,  place the hurt part of your body in hot water for at least 30 minutes. Keep the water as hot as you can bare and constantly top it up as it cools down.

hypothermia snorkeling injuries

5. Hypothermia

It’s very easy to forget all about time when you are in the water, having fun. However, it’s really important to know that prolonged exposure to cold water can often cause mild hypothermia. Hypothermia appears when the body temperature falls below 95ºF (35º C) and can be fatal when the core body temperature falls below 86ºF (30º C). It’s extremely important that you are trained to recognize the signs of hypothermia before it becomes a threat to your safety.

Seek medical help if the following symptoms occur:

  • uncontrolled shivering
  • decreased heart rate
  • blue skin complexion
  • dilated pupils
  • signs of poor judgment
  • confusion and drowsiness
  • hallucination

coral cuts snorkeling injuries

6. Coral Cuts

Another very common injury for snorkelers is related to corals, that can cut pretty badly. So, in order to avoid such injuries pay extra attention to the environment around and most importantly, beneath you.

If you happen to cut yourself in a coral make sure to scrub your skin with soap and water and then flush with fresh water. If the wound stings, rinse with vinegar or alcohol.
Most importantly, consult a doctor to prevent infection.

CHILD SAFETY WHILE SNORKELING – how to avoid injuries when you go out snorkeling with your kids

1. When snorkeling with kids, it’s really important to know what is safe to touch and what could cause a serious injury.

Children are naturally curious by nature and usually, they want to touch whatever they see. Teach your kids about underwater creatures such as corals, seashells, sea urchins, eels and everything else. Most importantly teach your children to avoid contact with unfamiliar creatures

2. When picking the perfect snorkeling spot avoid places with murky waters.

When your kids don’t see underwater they might accidentally step on one of the dangers listed above.

3. Never let your kids snorkel on their own.

Always go in the water with them and keep a close eye on their every move. They might feel frustrated with your constant vigilance, but better to have a pouting kid than an injured one.

4. Make sure your kids know how important it is to get out of the water when they feel cold.

Children love water and they adore to play in it. Most of the time they are not even aware for how long they have been in the ocean or just how cold the water is. This can cause hypothermia and many other serious problems. According to this article on WebMD, young swimmers are more susceptible to hypothermia than adults.

5. Keep your children close to shore no matter how good swimmers they are.

Kids tend to often misjudge their own capabilities and endurance. This can mean trouble if they become exhausted when far from the shore. It’s also really important to make sure they’re equipped with snorkeling vests, for extra safety.

6. To avoid coral or rock injuries try to avoid snorkeling in shallow rocky areas.

As described in the section about injuries, coral and rock cuts are definitely not something you would want your kid to experience.

The best way to treat these frequent snorkeling injuries is prevention.

7. Purchase proper equipment suited for children.

A good snorkeling set can make all the difference in the world for your little one to enjoy his or her snorkeling experience to the fullest.

The complete guide for snorkeling and swimming beginners

Snorkeling and swimming are two ways of enjoying the ocean that make you feel connected to the wonder of the underwater world. People who love water and nature are naturally attracted to snorkeling as an experience that completely redefines the way you imagine the...
Read More

Snorkeling Hot Spots California – Catalina Island

California is usually a snorkeling destination that falls off the radar for most snorkeling enthusiasts. The waters are generally colder in this area than on other destinations on the coast of the U.S. Because of this, there are not as many snorkel spots here as there...
Read More

Snorkelling paradise – COZUMEL Caribbean Sea

Snorkelling in Cozumel is what divers call an underwater rainbow. Yes that is how beautiful it is. The incredible island of Cozumel is a snorkelling paradise with crystal clear waters and incredibly beautiful underwater views. Very well known for its powder white...
Read More

How to snorkel

Learning how to snorkel is one of the best decisions we ever made. Suddenly the excitement level for every planned vacation was over the roof. Imagine exploring the underwater and relaxing both your mind and body. See what we mean? It's totally worth it learning how...
Read More

Top 5 most dangerous diving spots

Diving is escaping from the world above by spending tranquil quality times underwater. The serenity and calm of the quiet waters offers a well deserved escape from the daily stress and crowded world. Most divers choose to explore shallow waters and admire coral reefs...
Read More

Gear storage in small spaces – pro tips

If you love outdoor sports as much as we do, we bet you already have a gear storage problem.  As an active person and an adventure lover you find yourself constantly buying new, top of the line tech and gear only to find you ran out of space to store it.  You’re not...
Read More

Snorkelling in Hawaii – Maui Molokini

Experience an adventure unlike any other. This is how we would describe snorkelling at Molokini. Molokini is an unique and dynamics underwater majesty with incredibly beautiful coral reef and over 200 species of fish and marine life Snorkelling inside the Molokini...
Read More

El Museo subaquàtico de Arte – The Museum of Underwater Art Cancun

If you are planning to visit Mexico make sure you reserve an extra day just for snorkelling in Cancun. This is one of the top snorkelling destinations in the world. Here you will find crystal clear waters, a great selection of marine and amazing underwater beauties....
Read More

Snorkeling Hot Spots – Cancun

Summer has always been the season of our hearts, since it allows you to experiment with a lot of sports and activities that challenge the very best in you. Snorkeling is a lot more fun than you’d expect, combining the love for swimming with the passion of discovering...
Read More

5 things you absolutely have to do for the best snorkeling vacation

If you own a snorkel mask and snorkel gear you already know that snorkeling is addictive. For many people there isn’t much of a transition from the first experience to actually planning entire vacations around best snorkeling spots.  But if you really want to enjoy...
Read More

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This