Arguably one of the best parts of the summer is cooling off at the beach. We love the warm sand and the rolling waves and cool ocean breeze. A day at the beach also comes with some safety risks that should be considered. With a little bit of preparation and smart thinking, these risks can be avoided. Follow these tips for safe and fun days at the beach.
1. Follow the rules. The rules of the beach you’re visiting are for the courtesy of other guests and for your own safety. Be aware of the rules and regulations of the beach you are visiting to ensure that you are complying and have a safe and enjoyable visit.
2. Mind the flags. Brush up with the meaning of the beach flags prior to jumping in the water. For high hazard days, it is best that young children and persons with limited swimming ability stay out of the water for their own safety. These flags are there so that you can make an informed decision before stepping into the water.
3. (Don’t) Soak Up the Sun. Sunburn is a quick way to ruin your summer day, not to mention the dangers of sun damage on your skin. Be sure to apply sunscreen often, and stay out of the sun as much as possible. Use an umbrella, tent, hat, cover up, sunglasses, anything you can think of to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. When the sun is directly overhead, the danger of sunburn is the highest, so be especially wary of the sun in the hours surrounding noon.
4. Watch the waves. The ocean is an intensely beautiful and powerful force of nature. Never forget that the waves are much more powerful than you are. Waves can pull you under water and throw you against the shore, potentially causing serious injury. Never turn your back to the water, as a large wave could take you unaware. If you think that the waves may be too much for you on any given day, stick close to the shore or wait until the water has calmed down before swimming.
5. Stay close to the lifeguard. In an emergency situation, you want it to be easy for the lifeguard to reach you quickly. Choose a spot close to the lifeguard station, particularly if your party includes young children. This will also make it easier to find the spot you chose on the beach.
6. Watch Out for Rip Currents. Rip currents are the number one hazard for swimmers at the beach. 80% of all beach rescues take place because of rip tides. They can catch you by surprise and pull you away from the shore quickly. In the event of a rip tide, it is important not to panic or swim against the current (towards the shore). Doing this can exhaust you quickly. Instead, swim left or right parallel to the shore to escape the current, then continue on towards the shore.
7. Stay hydrated. Just because you’re in the water doesn’t mean you’re staying hydrated. If you’re swimming particularly enthusiastically, you need to be sure that you are drinking plenty of water to replenish. If you find yourself growing dizzy or weak, find some shade and water ASAP as you may be suffering from heat exhaustion.
Follow these simple tips to keep your days at Delmarva beaches carefree and risk-free.