Everyone loves visiting the beach! The best way to ensure your’s and your family’s sand time is safe, relaxing, and fun, is to be sure to follow a few important safety guidelines. Respect the the beach, and it will respect you back.
These are our top tips for beach safety:
Learn how to swim!
If you live close to bodies of water, the more important it is for you to start your children in swim lessons at an early age. Even children as young as six months can be started in introductory swim lessons. Instruction at any age is a good idea, preferably before the age of 5 or 6. No matter what ages you or your children are, be sure to fit a series or two before any visit to the beach.
Swim near a lifeguard
Most often you can’t tell much about water conditions from the viewpoint of standing on the shore. Particularly at beaches where you are unfamiliar with the water conditions, help ensure the safety of you and your loved ones by swimming on a lifeguarded beach. Follow their directions. If you get in trouble while in the water, call and wave for help.
Protect yourself from the sun
Use sunscreen with SPF 15 and reapply as directed. For anyone going in the water, wear waterproof sunscreen. (Read more about sun safety here)
Drink plenty of water
Drinking more water than accustomed to will help avoid overheating and dehydration.
Educate yourself and your family about what to do if in trouble
First time beach goers in particular are often either unaware or overwhelmed by the ocean’s power. Learn about dangers such as riptides and undertow.
Don’t swim alone
Don’t swim or go in the water at all if the beach is closed.
Lifeguards have a flag system to warn of various water conditions and hazards. One red flag means there are dangerous surf and/or currents, making conditions unsafe for most swimmers. Two red flags indicate that the water has been determined to be unsafe and that the beach is closed.
Don’t swim after a heavy rain
As excited as everyone is to get in the ocean after a heavy rain, this is a time when storm runoff creates the most polluted ocean water. Never allow your children to play around storm drains.
Don’t turn your back to the ocean
Remember that tides go in and out. And when you’re in the ocean, you never know when a large wave may be coming.
Don’t bring glass containers to the beach. But dispose of your trash, especially plastic, carefully.
Broken glass and bare feet are a bad combination. Equally as important, be sure to dispose of plastic or any other trash properly.
Watch for trash and other signs of pollution.
Steer clear of any trash seen floating in the water. Plan to leave the beach cleaner than when you got there. For trash on the beach, pick it up with a stick and dispose of properly. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!