Beach Safety Tips

We’re at the peak of summer, which means one thing for many of us: relaxing trips to the beach. But as carefree as a day or vacation at the beach might be, it’s still important to take extra safety precautions to ensure a fun time throughout your entire stay writes the

Decrease your chances of summer risks that range from water-related injuries to melanoma. Here’s how to protect yourself and your loved ones from danger at the beach:

  • Learn How to Swim: Knowing how to swim is the best way to protect yourself and your kids in the water; your chances of drowning are almost five times greater if you don’t know how to swim. While it’s best to learn at an early age, it’s never too late to take swimming classes.
  • Wear a Lifejacket if Necessary: Young children and those who don’t know how to swim should always wear a lifejacket when in or around water, especially if they’re on a boat.
  • Wear Plenty of Sunscreen: Too much sun exposure is bad for your body, so avoid getting sunburn and skin cancer by applying broad spectrum sunscreen of 15 SPF or higher, or by wearing clothing that covers your skin. Additionally, no sunscreen is water or sweat-proof, and should be applied every two hours.
  • Pay Attention to Flags and Signs: Warning signs might inform you of strong rip currents, and flags often indicate designated swimming areas with lifeguards on duty. Be sure to look for these flags and read all beach warnings prior to heading into the water. If you’re not sure what something means, ask a lifeguard.
  • Understand Rip Currents: If you’ve ever gone to the beach and mysteriously ended up a lot further away from the shore than you wanted to be, you probably experienced a rip current. These concentrated rivers of water that move offshore can cause people to drift far away from the beach. To get out of a rip current, do not try to swim directly back to shore. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you can feel the current relax. Then you can swim safely back to the sandy beach. Also, be sure to stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties, since rip currents are very common in these areas.
  • Don’t Dive Into Unknown Water: Enter water feet first to avoid serious lifelong injuries that can result from accidentally diving into shallow or rocky waters. Check for depth and any other obstructions in the water that may pose a potential danger to your safety.
  • Drink Plenty of Water: The sun can dehydrate your body quickly, so be sure to drink lots of water at the beach. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol, as these can cause further dehydration.
  • Swim Near a Lifeguard: Reduce your chances of drowning by swimming during the day where a lifeguard is present.