Beach safety is so important to remember during these hot summer months. A trip to the beach is a great vacation, but it can get dangerous quickly if you aren’t careful. Follow the posted rules regarding when it’s safe to swim and other beach concerns. Always remember to wear your sunscreen and lather up any children as well. Watch your kids at all times and never let them be unsupervised in the water. And finally, know how to identify riptides. You can enjoy your vacation to its fullest by being water-aware and safe while spending time at the beach.
Summertime Beach Safety Tips for Vacation: Protect Your Family
Follow the Rules
Beaches have rules posted, just like pools and other recreational areas. A big part of beach safety is knowing these rules and following them. Beaches often have flags indicating the threat level for riptides. Green indicates a low chance, while double red flags mean the water is not safe for swimming. Only swim in areas safe for swimming and it’s best to make sure a lifeguard is near. Drinking alcohol while swimming is not safe.
Another important aspect of beach safety is remembering your sunscreen. The sun’s powerful UV rays can cause skin damage and even cancer. It’s best to stay out of the sun altogether when it is the hottest from 10 AM to 4 PM. However, when you do go in the sun make sure that you’re wearing sunscreen. Try to find one that is SPF 30 or above. Make sure and completely cover children as well, and reapply every few hours as needed. It’s also good to bring along umbrellas, hats, and sunglasses.
Watch Young Children
The most important thing for parents to remember about beach safety is to watch young children at all times. Drowning can happen in a minute, and often doesn’t have the splashing and noise that TV makes us believe. Children can go under the water and be nearly invisible and silent. If you are with a large party, designated a “lifeguard” to keep an eye on children at all times, and put phones away. Pass off lifeguard duty so everybody gets a break. It’s also a good idea to have a verbal command like “your children now” that is answered by “my children now” so that everybody is on the same page. Keep a hand on young ones in the water at all times.
Finally, another part of beach safety that shouldn’t be ignored is the dangers of riptides. It’s really best to do some research on how to spot riptides so that you’re aware of what they look like. A general rule of thumb is that rip currents look like areas of water where the waves aren’t breaking. There might be foam or debris floating back into the ocean as well. The current is under the water’s surface and can pull you out to sea. But it won’t pull you under the water. If you get caught in one, remain calm, call for help, and attempt to swim parallel to the beach until you can follow waves that are crashing on land.
Beach safety is absolutely imperative if you’re vacationing with children in tow. Even if you are by yourself, it’s important to know the dangers of the ocean. Make sure that you follow all posted signs on the beach and stay where others can see you. Always have a buddy when swimming in the ocean. Wear sunscreen to protect your skin and reapply throughout the day. Always keep a close hand and eye on young children. And finally, be aware of what rip currents look like, and know the steps to take if you get caught in one. Hopefully, your trip to the beach will be fun and safe!