Beach Safety Tips you may not think of:
I am sure many of you will find yourself at the beach this summer. The beach is a wonderful family activity and vacation spot. However, there are a lot of hidden dangers at the beach. If you plan and prepare accordingly many of the dangers can be avoided. No one wants to cut their beach trip short, so prepare and plan to have some fun in the sun with these tips:
- Wear WATER SHOES. We were at the beach a few weeks ago and in my haste I did not bring the boys water shoes. I let them were their flip flops in the sand, but flip flops don’t work in the water. On day two, my son cut his toe on a seashell in the water. A little while later my youngest cried out because he stepped on something painful. That evening we went to the store and invested in water shoes. A small cut in on your foot can be very painful and put a damper on your play, or worse. There is currently a flesh eating bacteria in the waters in Florida that has infected seven people and killed two. Wear water shoes to lessen the risk of cutting yourself and lower the opportunity for bacteria from the warm water to infect an open wound.
- Swim at beaches with LIFE GUARDS. As a former life guard myself, life guards are important in ocean waters, especially those that tend to get rough. Even if the waters are not lively, life guards can make a difference in safety. With the recent reports of shark attacks in shallow waters you wonder if a life guard was on duty, could these accidents have been avoided.
- Do not swim near PIERS. The recent shark attacks off the coast of North Carolina, brought to light that fisherman were throwing chum and bait in the water to try to lure fish in. If you know anything about sharks, you know they are highly sensitive to blood. With fish bits and blood in the water by the pier, sharks are sure to be near. When looking for the perfect spot to park your beach chairs, make sure you are a good distance away from any pier, it could save your life.
- Make sure your sun screen is BROAD SPECTRUM: Applying sunscreen often is a must, but make sure your sun screen says Broad Spectrum. If your sun screen does not say broad spectrum, then you are not being protected from UVA and UVB and you are leaving your skin vulnerable to cancer causing rays. Apply a generous amount at least every two hours and more often if you have been swimming or sweating. If you are opt to forget to re-apply, set a timer on your phone to remind you every 2 hours.
- Scan the beach for HAZARDS: During our last beach trip, the tide had brought in Portuguese man of war onto the beach. A sting from one of these can cause excruciating pain and even detached tentacles and dead washed up man of war can sting just as painfully. Scanning the beach allowed us to identify the hazard. We let the kids know what it was and warned them to be aware and stay away. We have also encountered things like glass and fishing hooks on the beach that can be hazards to kids who are innocently playing in the sand. Scanning the water for sharks is a precaution that seems all too necessary in light of the recent attacks.
- Use other methods of SUN SCREEN: Sun screen is a must when going to the beach. However, it is a smart idea to have other forms of sun protection as well. The sun’s rays are not the only harmful thing, we often forget that our bodies can overheat when we are out on the hot beach playing for long hours. Bring a beach umbrella or tent to find full body shade and give your body a chance to cool off. Use a hat to keep the sun off the top of your head. Wear UV protective swim shirts to protect further from the sun and keep your core cool.
There is typically a lot to remember and pack when you are off to the beach. I hope these tips help keep you safe. Are there any other beach safety tips you use? Have you ever had an incident at the beach that put a damper on the day?