Each year, Americans take about two billion trips to the beach. No one wants their fun filled beach weekend ruined by mistakes that can be prevented. Although accidents do happen, you can be prepared for anything with these five steps to beach safety!
You should never leave your hotel without proper supplies for healthy beach going practices. Keep a bag ready with sunscreen, sandals or flip flops, hats, sun shades, snacks and water just in case you’re running out the door one day. One blistering sunburn can increase your chances of melanoma later in life. Slather on a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and make sure you’ve got a way to stay out of the sun -- umbrellas, tents, hats and sun shades.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings.
Most ocean life isn’t cause for worry; however, you should always be on the lookout for unsafe conditions. Barnacles and shells of mussels or clams can become very sharp, which may hurt your feet if you’re not careful. Another thing to pay attention to is jellyfish. They can discharge venom stingers into your skin causing a sting, and even dead jellyfish can sting you for some time. It’s not just the ocean that you need to worry about this summer. Pay attention to where you are on the beach. Don’t leave your things unattended unless you’re willing to part with it all.
Practice Water Safety.
Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional deaths worldwide and people can drown in as little as two inches of water. While the waves can be fun, they can also be incredibly dangerous. They can cause serious injuries like sprains, broken collarbones, dislocated shoulders, blunt trauma and spinal injury. So, unless you’re confident you can handle the waves, stick to the shoreline. If you don’t know how to swim, or cannot swim well enough, it is very important to wear a proper flotation device at all times.
Beaches keep warning flags up to make beach-goers aware of water conditions or sightings of dangerous marine life. Before you set up shop on the beach, find the sign on the beach telling you what each color of flag signifies and find out whether you should be cautious of anything.
If you’re not regularly drinking water and getting out of the hot sun, you put yourself at a much higher risk for heat stroke. It’s important that you know the symptoms -- nausea, headache, confusions, rapid heartbeat and hot, bright red skin -- so that you can be mindful of yourself and others while kicking back on the beach.