Beach time is fun for the whole family and something we look forward to. We pack food and towels and gather the necessary items to have a fun-filled day in the sun. As much fun as we can have, we also need to be aware of beach safety and kids to respect the ocean. It can be dangerous.
Sunburn Prevention Tips
Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before swimming and reapply every 2 hours and immediately after swimming. Wear a Broad Spectrum sunscreen that has a minimum SPF 30. For extra protection, wear a hat, shirt, and sunglasses.
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Beach Flag Warnings
The International Lifesaving Federation along with The United Stated Lifesaving Association developed a flag warning system to let all beachgoers know of potentially hazardous conditions in the water. Always be aware of the Safety Signs at the beach before entering the water. This will allow you to know if there are any dangers on that particular day like jellyfish or dangerous currents.
- Green Flags-Safe to Swim
- Blue and Purple Flags – potentially dangerous marine animals have been spotted in the area (jellyfish, sharks, or others)
- Yellow Flags – potentially dangerous currents, riptides, and undertows
- Red Flags – serious of all flag warnings
- One Red Flag – dangerous currents, riptides, and undertows and the surf is high
- Two Red Flags – conditions are too dangerous to swim and the area is closed to swimming
Never Swim Alone
Always swim with a family member or friend to avoid trouble and to keep an eye out for each other. If something were to occur while swimming, raise your arm in the air and wave it side to side so the lifeguard can see you need attention. Stay calm and save your energy by floating on your back.
Where are Jellyfish?
Jelly fish are very common on beaches and they can still sting when they are dead. Jellyfish can visibly be seen lurking close to the surface of the water but can also be deeper in the water where we cannot see them. When they die, they can be found on the shore line. Be on the lookout for jellyfish when you are swimming and walking along the shore.
Fun facts Jellyfish
- Jellyfish are the only organism on Earth to survive without a brain
- Jellyfish are made of 90% water
- Most of their body is a gelatinous material called mesoglea
- Jellyfish do not have a respiratory system, a central nervous system, or brain
- Jellyfish move forward by squirting water from their mouth
- Jellyfish tentacles are filled with toxins and sting
- The most deadliest animal in The Animal Kingdom is the box jellyfish
- Nonpoisonous jellyfish are considered a delicacy
- Jellyfish can live for 30 years
How to treat a Jellyfish Sting
The American Heart Association recommends the following to Treat a Jellyfish Sting:
- Remove the Person From the Water
- Rinse the area with seawater and remove tentacles using anything plastic like a credit card.
- To deactivate the stinging, rinse the affected area with vinegar for 30 seconds. A mixture of baking soda and water can be used if vinegar is not available.
- Soak the area in hot water or a hot shower for at least 20 minutes 104 to 113°F(40 to 45°C ) . If hot water is not available, cold packs can be used instead.
Avoid a Shark Attack
Shark bites are not common but they do occur. Leave the shiny jewelry at home! Sharks are attracted to reflective objects and with the bright sun, jewelry is no good. Stay away from the ocean during twilight hours and never swim if you are bleeding. Also, don’t swim near anyone fishing or if the water is murky.
Ocean Swimming Safety
Swimming in the ocean is completely different from swimming in a pool or a lake. The ocean has tides and drop offs and the strongest swimmers can be overwhelmed by a current or tide.
Never swim alone and stay away from swimming by a pier or rocks because they make the currents stronger around them. Be aware of the potential dangers that day in the water.
Never Bury Anyone in the Sand
Burying someone in the sand seems like an innocent thing to do but did you know that sand weighs over 100 pounds per cubic foot? That means a grown adult man wouldn’t be able to stand up if he were buried six inches with sand.
Rip Current Facts
Rip Currents are extremely dangerous and can be life-threatening! Rip currents pose the most serious danger at the beach. These strong underwater currents take the lives of over 100 people a year and are 80% of beach rescues.
Be very aware of Rip Current Warning Signs!
The two most important things to look out for with Rip Currents is:
- Rip Currents occur where the water looks most calm
- If you get stuck in a Rip Current, DO NOT SWIM AGAINST IT!
Rip Currents usually occur in low spots in sandbars, near structures like jetties, piers, or rocks, and form in any large open water area. You can spot a Rip Current by looking for an area where the water looks deeper and darker, it has fewer waves than other areas, and sometimes the water looks sandy colored.
If you happen to get caught in a Rip Current:
- STAY CALM, don’t fight the current
- Swim parallel to the shore towards the breaking waves from one side to the other or across it until you are out of the current
- Rip Currents can form a circle and return you to shore
- When out of the Rip Current, Swim toward the shore
- If you feel you cannot make it to shore, wave and call for help, draw attention to yourself, float and tread water until you are free from the current
- have someone throw a life jacket to you or anything that floats, a cooler, inflatable raft, inflatable ball, etc
Rip Current Diagram
Heat exhaustion is an illness caused from the heat after you’ve been exposed to high temperatures. It is usually accompanied by dehydration. It is something to be taken seriously because if you don’t resolve heat exhaustion it can turn into heat stroke which can be fatal.
Symptoms Heat Exhaustion
- heavy sweating
- dizzy, faint, weak, or tired
- rapid breathing or feel like your heart is beating faster than normal
- muscle cramps
- nausea or vomiting
Heat Exhaustion Treatments
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Remove any tight clothing
- Take a cool shower or bath
- Apply ice towels or other cooling measures such as air conditioning
Physical activity and the sun can cause heat exhaustion and it is fairly common for beach goers. If you find yourself with these symptoms. Seek emergency medical assistance immediately. If no relief occurs in 15 minutes get help immediately to prevent heat stroke. This is a medical emergency!
Beach Safety and Kids is very important to discuss with kids of all ages, not just the young ones. Adults should read this as well and learn about the various dangers that are at the beach. It is best to learn and be aware of what can happen to prevent and avoid it from hampering your day. We all want to enjoy our fun day at the beach!
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