Beach Safety

Going to the beach is a favorite pastime of families all across the country, especially those who live in the sunny state of Florida. The beach can be a great place for both children and adults to relax or get some exercise. However, it is imperative that precautions are taken to keep the experience safe and prevent injuries.

Prevent Sunburn Injuries

Sunburns can be painful and can greatly increase the risks of developing skin cancer and other conditions. To prevent sunburns, wide brim hats and loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants or skirts can be worn. An umbrella may also reduce the amount of sun exposure. Sunscreen should be worn, but should not be the only preventative measure taken to protect again sunburn. Going to the beach between the hours of 10am and 4pm can increase the risk of sunburn, as these times are when the sun is the strongest.

Prevent Water Injuries

All family members should be educated about beach safety prior to beach trips. It is important for family members to stay together, so that someone is there to help or seek assistance if an incident does occur. Children should be supervised at all times and not allowed to swim where parents cannot see. Swimming in areas that are supervised by a life guard provides an extra degree of protection.

Rip Currents

Rip currents can cause drowning injuries if an individual is not educated about what to do if caught in a rip current. Rip currents are powerful currents that run perpendicular to the shore and can pull unwary swimmers under water. If caught in a rip current, swimmers should swim parallel to the shore in a calm manner. Panicking will cause oxygen loss that can be dangerous. Most rip currents are no more than 30 feet wide, so swimmers will soon move away from the rip current by swimming parallel to the shore.

Advisories

Beach advisories for the day should be researched and heeded for beach safety. Dangerous wildlife, strong currents, and weather conditions may increase the likelihood of dangerous incidents. Families should prepare accordingly or avoid a beach trip if conditions are too dangerous.

Swimming Experience

Family members should be strong swimmers before being allowed out into deeper waters. Weak swimmers and young children should wear a life jacket or other floatation device while at the beach. Swim classes can help strengthen swimming skills.

Beach Safety Tips

There are many precautions that can be taken to make beach trips safer, including:

  • Wearing water shoes to protect against cuts and animal strings or bites
  • Avoiding alcohol to prevent dehydration and maintain awareness
  • Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Only burning fires in designated pits or grills
  • Bringing first aid kits that can be used in case of cuts or stings
  • Researching tide schedule and taking the beach trip when the water is the least turbulent