Who doesn’t love a beach trip? The smell of fresh salt water in the air, an opportunity to enjoy nature in its purest form and time spent with friends and family can be, exactly, what you need to have a memorable summer experience. However,a relaxing beach weekend can sometimes turn bad if you make just one wrong move. A sure-shot way to spoil a beach vacation is having someone get sick or injured.
While beach vacations can be a memorable experience to cherish for a lifetime, they are not without some risks and hazards. There are many things that need to be considered before heading to the beach. Here are some safety and health tips you should follow for a safe and fun beach experience:
Pay heed to warnings and advisories
Observing swimming advisories and warnings is a must. The health department works hard to ensure your safety, so if they advise not getting in the water; it is probably best to stay out. Do not ignore such warnings at any point.
Swim near a lifeguard stand
Of course, beaches are there to enjoy swimming in the freshwater, and you want to swim, but always choose an area for swimming near the lifeguard stand. Do not swim too far away from other people. As in emergency cases, you will wish to grab the attention of people as quickly as possible.
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Life jackets are there for a reason
Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear life jackets as it can possibly save their lives. It will add an extra layer of protection for them.
Do not swim when you are drunk
Drinking and swimming should be enjoyed at different times. Almost half of all catastrophic injuries including drowning are due to alcohol consumption. Even a small amount of alcohol can be fatal as it can impair your senses, judgment, coordination, and balance. Abstain from drinking and other forms of intoxication.
Look out for the waves and rip currents
Rip currents are strong currents pulling out to sea, perpendicular to the shoreline. Always keep watchful eyes on the waves and tides. The current is often too strong even for adult swimmers, and fighting it leads to fatigue and a risk of drowning. So, if you’re stuck in a rip current do not fight the current – draw attention to yourself and try swimming parallel to the beach. Once you are out of the current swim towards the shore.
Do not dive until you know the depth
Do not dive headfirst into the ocean. The water is often dark and it is difficult to judge the depth of the water. Most commonly, catastrophic neck injuries occur in open-water areas. There are chances that a rock happens to be there when you dive and even the sand underwater is not soft as you think.
Sunscreen is your best friend
Protect your skin with sunscreen that is at least SPF 15 or higher. Suntan looks beautiful but it is better to have your skin protected from the harmful effects of UV sun rays. Protect your face with a wide-brimmed hat and eyes with sunglasses.
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Watch for sun sickness/stroke
Baking in the sun can be fun but staying for few hours longer under the sun can lead to some unwanted health issues and may even cause severe sickness. Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia and sun poisoning can all result from dehydration and prolonged exposure to the sun at high temperatures. Be sure to drink plenty of water and find shade as soon as possible. Seek medical attention if you suffer from these issues.
Keep an eye out for aquatic life
On the beach and underwater, there is a lot of aquatic life to admire around you when you’re swimming. You can always take a good look at the sea creatures, but it’s not a good idea to get too close or touch them – as by doing so, you can unintentionally hurt them or disturb their atmosphere. Jellyfish and stingrays are a common sight at many beaches. Shuffle your feet in the water to avoid stepping on an unsuspecting living creature. It can sting you, which is not fatal most of the time but can be really painful.
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