Outdoor Life

Beach safety tips

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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people on the beach
Watch out! This really does mean you!
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Here are some beach safety tips

The beach represents the epitome of summer luxury, relaxation and fun, but it can be also be a place where danger dwells. Accidents in and near the water happen too often and most of them occur suddenly with little time to think about what course of action to take. So be like a boy scout; that is, be prepared, and read about these beach safety tips. Remember them every time you head out for a fun time at the beach.

Beach safety tips exemplify that old expression: “Forewarned is forearmed.”

1- Learn to swim
Everyone should know how to swim. The American Red Cross and local YMCAs offer reasonably priced classes, and it may save your life one day. Never over-estimate your abilities or the fact that swimming in a pool and an ocean or lake require different safeguards. Waves, currents and tides can be lethal to experienced and novice swimmers alike. Remember also to always face the ocean. Giant waves can come without warning and sweep a swimmer or surfer out to sea.

2- Swim near a lifeguard
This is a no-brainer akin to being advised not to park your car across the railroad tracks. Still, you would be amazed how many people drown while swimming in the ocean. Statistics indicate that the presence of lifeguards greatly increases the safety level of swimming on the beach. They are trained for those emergency situations where a second’s hesitation can make the difference between life and death.

3- Do not mix swimming and alcohol
It is estimated that approximately 50% of all fatal swimming injuries (including drowning) involve the consumption of alcohol. Consider it the same as driving drunk as even small amounts of alcohol can impair judgment, balance and coordination. Your body’s ability to stay warm is also hampered by alcoholic consumption. Remember that a little “buzz” can be enough impetus to encourage big risks from which there may be no return.

Avoid swimming where there are rip currents
Rip currents, sometimes mistakenly called “rip tides” and “undertows” are seaward moving currents that circulate water back to sea after it is pushed ashore by waves. Each wave accumulates water on shore creating seaward pressure. While swimming, stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties, as dangerous rip currents are often found along the side of fixed objects in the water.

If you happen to get caught in a rip current, don’t swim against the pull; swim sideways until free. Swim parallel to the shore until the pulling stops and then back towards the shore. If you cannot return on your own, don’t panic or waste energy; tread water and wave for lifeguard assistance.

Never swim alone
No roster of beach safety tips could be complete without including a caveat about swimming alone. Always swim in the company of at least one other person. In case of trouble, it is always better to be prepared than sorry (or dead or both).

Supervise children closely even when life guards are present
Do not expect lifeguards to watch your babies. They will, but only in conjunction with everyone else they have to keep track of. Your children are your responsibility and while at the beach, you must keep a watchful eye on their activities at all times.

Do not bring glass containers to the beach
Glass and bare feet do not mix well. Even though common sense may dictate that all should wear some kind of beach footwear while walking along the beach, there’s no way to force that issue and there never will be.

These beach safety tips are meant to inform and educate swimmers about how to have “safe” fun at the beach. In this case, it is only what you don’t know that can hurt you!

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