Urgent Care Centers

If you have a real medical emergency, always dial 911. For things that need attention, but are not life threatening follow the directory below:

Here are some safety tips as well to keep you and your family safe:

  1. Always wear sunscreen of SPF 50 or higher and reapply frequently. If you get sunburn, aloe will help heal it faster.
  2. Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated
  3. Don't ever swim alone in the pool or in the ocean - you might be a great swimmer but you can never predict when something out of your control will happen and if no-one is around to see it, then no-one can save you from drowning.
  4. Wear appropriate footwear on our Boardwalks and on the sand to protect your feet
  5. Shuffle your feet when in the ocean! Stingrays will sting you if you step on them and they feel trapped. If this happens, rinse the wound with water and apply heat but seek medical attention prior to removing the barb! Stingray's barbs have rigged edges that are meant to get stuck in their perceived predators. Removing the barb may cause more damage to the wound and even lacerate an artery.
  6. If you get stung by a Jellyfish, take a credit card or something of the same texture and thickness and swipe the edge of the card over your sting in the direction the hair grows to remove any remaining barbs, then rinse with warm water or vinegar.
  7. If you get bit by a snake, compress the wound right above the bite, and seek medical attention immediately. If you're able, try to see what the snake looks like and the shape of the eyes. If the eyes are round, the snake is likely not venomous, if the eyes are slitted like a cat's, the snake is likely venomous. This trick is not accurate for all species. We do have several venomous and non-venomous snakes on the island, so don't take the chance and seek medical attention immediately!
  8. Stay away from the edge of lagoons and marshes. We have a healthy alligator population here. Most of the waters they live in are murky so they will see you before you see them and once they jump out of the water towards you it may be too late for you! Their jaws are the second strongest in the world second only to hyenas. If you get bitten, seek medical attention immediately.
  9. If you get bit by any species of animal, keeping the wound clean is always most important. If the wound is deep enough it may require medical attention and most likely will require antibiotics. 
  10. Heat stroke is a real problem in the summer. Call 911 if you notice any signs of heat stroke which include, red flushed skin, hot to touch, rapid pulse and faintness.

Veterinarians

Let's not forget your pet! Hilton Head is very pet-friendly, so with 2.5 million human visitors every year, we get a lot of furry visitors as well! If something should happen to Fido, below is a directory of local Veterinarians:

Here are some safety tips to help keep Fido safe on your vacation as well:

  1. Never EVER leave your pet in the car alone! Temperatures inside the car can reach into the 100's easily on a hot summer day. We have seen several dog deaths on the island because their owners left them in the car "for a few minutes". The temperature can put your dog in heat stroke in those few minutes. It doesn't matter how long you think you're going to be gone, if there is a line at the store or something delays you from getting back sooner, you may be going back to a dead dog.
  2. ALWAYS keep your dog on a leash when around ponds and lagoons. Dogs, no matter what size, are a food item for our local gators and they will not hesitate to jump out of the water on an empty belly to eat your dog.
  3. If you have a small breed dog, keep them leashed at all times. We do have large predatory birds such as eagles and osprey here and they will pick Fluffy up right off the ground and have a meal.
  4. Offer your pet plenty of water when outside on a warm day - they need to stay hydrated too!
  5. Watch for broken glass on the beach - glass is not allowed on the beach but not everyone respects our beaches the same way we do. Broken glass could easily cut into a paw pad (or human skin).
  6. Keep your dog on Heartworm prevention! Heartworm disease is contracted by mosquitos and we have a lot of them here! Heartworm treatment is expensive and painful, and with such an easy way to prevent it (giving your dog a chewy Heartworm treat once a month) there is no excuse to let your dog contract Heartworms!
  7. Keep your dog on flea prevention! Being in the south, the temperature never seems to get cold enough (even in winter) to kill off the fleas or their eggs. Keeping them on flea prevention year-round is the best way to keep your furry friends flea free!
  8. Check for ticks after a walk - we do have ticks on the island as well. Lyme disease is not as prominent here as it is up North, however the sooner you find and remove any ticks, the better it is for Fido (and you!).
  9. While on the beach, be sure to always have your dog in sight! Dogs like to dig in sand and some like to eat it! This can cause impaction and could result in costly surgery if they eat enough of it.