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Barbados Health and Safety Tips

Barbados is truly the Gem of the Caribbean Sea and we are fortunate that Barbados does not have a high crime rate, however, it is important to 'pack your common sense' when traveling to any destination.

Listed below are a few safety health and safety tips for traveling to Barbados.

Lock your hotel room door and sliding patio doors when not around or overnight.

Do not entertain strangers in your hotel room or villa.
Use the Safety Deposit boxes available at your hotel for valuables and travel documents.
Do not leave valuable items unattended while at the beach.
Do not walk back to your hotel or villa alone, particularly if you are a woman. Travel in groups or take a taxi.
Drink a lot of water while on the beach. This helps the body to stay hydrated.

Visitors should reserve swimwear for the beach, please ensure shorts and vest or t-shirts are worn while getting to and from the beaches.

Camouflage clothing is not allowed to be worn in Barbados. This is an illegal offense and is reserved for the Barbados Defense Force.

Mosquitoes and Sand flies traditionally 'make themselves known' at sunset and throughout the evening. Everyone reacts differently to these insect bites; some are not bothered while others with more sensitive skin may become very uncomfortable. Ask your pharmacist for suggestions to keep these 'critters' at bay and promote quick healing.

Barbados is surrounded by a series of coral reefs as a result, Sea Urchins commonly referred to as Cobblers or Sea Eggs can be found on rocks close to shore. They resemble a tennis ball with long black spines or short white spines. Should you happen to step on one while exploring DO NOT try to remove the spines from beneath the skin as this will possibly lead to infection. Rest assure, they will dissolve and disappear but it is wise to soak the area with an antiseptic. If the spines are protruding from the skin, you may try to remove them carefully. Our suggestion? Don't step on them and if snorkeling wear protective reef shoes.

Many of our West and South Coast beaches are fringed by shady foliage called Manchineel Trees.Some hotels have labeled these trees or placed red bands around the trunks but not all have chosen to do so. While Manchineel Trees look inviting, they carry what looks like small green berries/apples. Don't be fooled! They are poisonous and can also blister your skin. Be particularly careful when choosing shelter from the rain as the water drops from this tree can irritate the skin and create uncomfortable blisters. Coconut Trees are not always cleaned in time to prevent coconuts and their large branches from falling. It is therefore not advisable to sit or park your cars beneath these trees.

Regardless of your skin tone, the sun can damage your skin. A tan is the goal for most visitors, while the sun burnt look is not desirable. It is advisable to apply sunscreen evenly 30 minutes prior to venturing outdoors. The most damaging rays are found between 12:00 am and 3:00 pm. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is 'if your shadow is longer than you are tall' the sun's rays are not as strong or damaging.

Narcotics: Drugs are illegal in Barbados and severe penalties can be imposed if caught in possession of banned substances.

Driving: Drinking and driving is an offense as in most other places of the world. Our roads are narrow and we drive on the LEFT hand side of the road. If you have been drinking, be responsible and call a taxi.

Sea Safety: It is always advisable to stay within your depth when swimming anywhere.

The West and South Coast of the island are generally quite calm and safe for swimming. However, sea conditions change and there may be days when you may see flags on the beach indicating dangerous currents. Yellow means proceed with caution and Red is a strong warning that you should stay out of the sea.

Our beaches are not all manned by lifeguards therefore discretion should always be used when venturing into the ocean. Jet Skis and Wave Runners are fun and popular amongst visitors to the island. However, one should not go out too far as engines could fail and ocean currents may be stronger than anticipated.

The East Coast of the island is home to the Atlantic Ocean and is extremely dangerous. The sea here tends to be unpredictable with under currents and large waves - always ask where it is safe to swim and never swim alone.

Listed below are a few Emergency Numbers for your reference:

Police Hotline 211
Medical Emergencies: FMH Emergency Medical Clinic:(246)228-6120
Private Ambulance (246)435-9425
QEH Hospital Ambulance 511

All in all Barbados is a very safe country and we hope that you enjoy your stay with us and that it proves to be both safe and enjoyable.

Feedback and Reviews
Back to: General Information
Visitor Rating: 10.00 from 1 users
Information Assumed Accurate On: Nov 25, 2013
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Visitor Comments:

By: Eden Johnson
Very helpful thank you!
Date: Dec 8, 2011

By: Hope
Just returned, with 7 family members, July 6, 2010 after spending nine days in the south western part. Best vacation ever!! Even located some distant relatives. Definitely will be going back!!!
Date: Jul 15, 2010

By: Joyce
I appreciate this helpful information. We are planning on spending all of Feb, 2011 in Barbados.
Date: Jun 13, 2010

By: Roger
Your article was very informative. Thank you. I'm relocating to Jackson st Michael. What primary school are located in this area.
Date: Nov 29, 2009

By: Claire
Great advice thank you : ) I am planning on coming to Barbados (south coast) in April.
Date: Jan 14, 2009

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