Posted on August 15, 2018 by CHS
Summer time means long days playing outside and trips to the beach with the family. While enjoying the salty air and spending time with the family can be fun, it is important to follow rules to keep everyone safe in the water. Our blog this week will provide tips on how to safely enjoy everything the beach has to offer.
Swimming at the beach is very different from swimming in a pool. Unlike swimming pools, there are tides and waves that can pull anyone into deep water if they’re not careful. Many patrolled beaches have red and yellow flags out in the water to indicate where it is safe to swim. The current can be very strong and dangerous past the flags, even for experienced swimmers. Teach your child to stay within the zone for his own safety. If there are no flags on the water, then check the lifeguard tower. When conditions are unsafe a flag will be posted. You can also ask the lifeguard to indicate where it is safe to swim.
When swimming at the beach, always use a buddy system and don’t wander off by yourself. This precaution will ensure that you have someone with you in case you get a cramp in the water, get caught by a current, or struggle to swim. The tides can carry you farther away from the meeting point at the shore, so having a buddy system can keep you from drifting too far and getting lost.
Younger children and inexperienced swimmers should wear a lifejacket and only swim near the shore close to the lifeguard. The lifeguard on duty can monitor closely and react fast if an accident happens. Make sure to be on the lookout yourself to keep young children safe.
Sunlight is a vital source of vitamin D for the human body, but it can also cause dangerous sunburns, and even lead to skin cancer later in life if skin is not well protected. Be sure to apply a sunscreen labeled “Broad Spectrum” with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher every 2 hours to lower the risk of sunburn. Don’t forget to apply it to all of the small and exposed areas like ears, hands, feet, shoulders, and behind the neck.
You can also cover up your child with long sleeve clothes and sunglasses to protect his skin and eyes. When sitting at the shore, set up a beach umbrella so that children can stay shaded from the sun. You can read more by visiting our blog about Sun Safety.
Hot weather at the beach can spoil your food quickly if it is not packed properly. Make sure to store hot food and cold food separately. Try to pack non-perishable food, such as peanut butter sandwiches, to avoid the risk of spoiled food. The sun, water and salty beach air will dehydrate you faster than usual and you might not even realize it. Be sure to pack lots of water and keep children hydrated.
There are many aquatic animals that congregate close to the shore or drift to the shore with the tide. If you see a stranded animal, do not touch it or pick it up. Sea animals can bite or carry diseases that could be harmful to humans. Touching or holding an aquatic animal can also cause tremendous stress or shock to the animal and make it sick. Call the emergency rescue services to handle issues with sea life and leave the animal alone. Jellyfish are also common at the beach. Teach your children not to touch them as they can sting, even if they are dead.
Bonus Beach Hack: Avoid getting your car and home sandy with this trick. Use baby powder! Dust off as much sand as possible and apply baby powder to rub off the leftover sand in a matter of seconds. This hack works because the baby powder will absorb the moisture, allowing you to remove the sand easily.
To learn more about beach safety see the links below