However, I realized after writing it that we do some very different things as a family when we head to the beach which happens three or four times each year.
Beach safety is just as important as pool safety and while swimming is a great family bonding activity, taking proper precautions means the good times can continue.
“Swimming and water activities are very healthy so long as you use appropriate caution for yourself and your family when you visit the beach,” says B. Chris Brewster, president of the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA), a national organization based in Huntington Beach, Calif. The first step is knowing where danger lurks and how to avoid it.
Here are some beach safety tips for you and your family:
This seems like a no brainer but the fact is, a lot of the beaches we go to do not have lifeguards. Beaches without lifeguards may have currents or dropoffs. While many beaches will post signs, not every beach will so it is best to find beaches with lifeguards who are familiar with their territory.
Putting sunscreen on will prevent you from getting a sunburn. If you are sunburned and swimming, you could become dizzy or disoriented and you are not only a danger to yourself but everyone else out there as well.
Look for warning signs indicating that there might be a strong current. If you start swimming and feel some sort of undertow, get out. You never know how strong a current is and usually if you are the only people swimming, that might be an indicator that you should get out of the water. If you are unsure, then it is better not to swim.
Another no brainer, right? However, you would be surprised how many people will swim near a spot where a lot of jellyfish have been sited or close to where sharks have been sited. Stay away from these areas. Far away.
Swimming right after a good rain is usually not a good idea. Neither is swimming in areas where there is a lot of debris or murky water.
“It’s a good idea to find out what the water quality is before you go in because the results of poor water quality are gastrointestinal distress, ear infection, and occasionally more serious problems,” he says. Some beaches will post updates on water quality, “but this is not something you can rely on as most testing is random and occurs on an infrequent basis,” he explains. “By the time the signs are up, the water quality may have already been poor for over a day,” he says. - Source WebMD
My kids love to float on rafts in the ocean and so does my husband. However, once they start getting too far from shore, I make them come in closer. You always should be able to swim safely to shore without getting tired. It is also too easy to get carried away with a current if you are not paying attention.
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