The weather in most of America is starting to get hot which means that, for everyone on the coastline, taking trips to the beach is forthcoming. Spending a day on the beach is usually fun and relaxing but it can also be dangerous. Mother Nature is nothing to toy with and the hot sun and changing tides can be hazardous. Every year there are beach related injuries—some of them fatal. However, for every single bad event at the beach there are many more good experiences. Hence, everyone should feel comfortable taking a trip to the ocean just as long as some basic safety measures are abided by. Avoiding overexposure to the sun and turbulent water conditions are essential to beach safety. Being aware of the problems that one can face at the beach—from overheating to getting sand in your eyes—is the first step to finding ways to avoid such unpleasant occurrences and instead focus on all the good things that a trip to the seaside brings! Below is a list of three safety measures that should always be tacitly followed while at the beach.
Getting a tan is an essential experience of summer, specifically while on the beach. Tanning in the sun is healthier than lying on a tanning bed since the sun contains natural vitamins that are healthy for the skin to absorb. However, the sun’s rays can also be harmful and result in dangers to one’s health. Skin cancer is a growing concern among people who spend excessive time in the sun and some sun burns can become so intense that they can cause painful blisters. Luckily, staying safe from the harmful side effects of sun exposure is relatively easy. Firstly, always wear sun tan lotion. Sun tan lotions come in a variety of brands and strengths (most doctors recommend at least a 30 for the early tanning season). Bringing an umbrella to the beach and wearing hats and sunglasses are other ways to stay protected from the sun even when you are sitting out on a sandy beach in midday.
Listen to the Lifeguards
Lifeguards are specially trained to keep beach goers safe from strong tides, currents, and waves. If a swimmer gets into trouble in the water it is lifeguards that will dive in to save the individual in distress. Life guards are so essential to beach safety that it is illegal to swim in the ocean when they are not on duty. Life guards keep an eye out on all swimmers and when they see someone veering off into waters that are too deep or far away from shore they will blow whistles to get the person to swim back to safe distances. When a lifeguard blows his or her whistle it is important that all swimmers look back in the direction of their chair to make sure that the lifeguard is not instructing you to get back. Lifeguards will also place flags near certain areas of water. A green flag means that the area is safe to swim in, yellow flags indicate to take caution, and red flags mean to stay away from that’s section of the water—usually due to rip tides and undertows. Taking care to adhere to these signs is essential to safety.
Stay Out of Strong Currents
There are some currents that no one should swim in as are indicted by red flags that lifeguards put up. Some rip tides and undertows are so strong—and some waves so violent—that even the strongest swimmer would have difficulty navigating them. However, other currents are fine for some swimmers but difficult for people who are not as adept in the water or not as physically strong. Hence, everyone should know their own limits within the water. If you feel like you are being dragged into the water deeper than you want to be (such as intending to go in up to your ankles and finding yourself submerged up to your knees) then it is probably best not to go in any further. Additionally, if you find yourself getting dragged to one side by the current it might be best to get out of the water before you are separated far from your blanket. Knowing your limit within waves is important for safety since getting tossed about by a large wave can result in serious injury.