6 Things to Beware of on Beach Vacations
By the end of next week, virtually all kids will be whooping and hollering for joy that summer has finally arrived. The weather is already plenty hot, though it’s not officially summer until June 21. A favorite activity for families is visiting a beach. The waves, the wind, the saltwater, and the sand provide a backdrop for unforgettable days. It’s important to understand, however, that beaches can be treacherous and, for reasons of unpredictable weather alone, it’s risky to schedule an entire vacation around a visit to a beach. Check out six things to watch out for on beach vacations.
You could discover that the beach is closed when you get there. It’s not unusual for water quality to reflect danger in beach waters, prompting a beach closure. Coastal waters are frequently contaminated by untreated sewage from boats, pets, failing septic systems, and many other potential threats. If there’s a shark sighting in the swim area, you may volunteer to stay away, in spite of your plans.
If it’s safe to get in the water, be aware that rip currents are frequent beach hazards. When lifeguards rescue people, it’s because of rip currents 80% of the time. A rip current is a narrow current flowing away from the beach, and it’s very strong. Swimmers who get caught in one are carried out too far to get back without help. Tip: If you are ever caught in a rip current, simply swim parallel to shore. You will swim out of the rip current in that way.
You could be enjoying a breezy day at the beach when the lifeguards suddenly begin blowing their whistles and making everyone get out of the water. It’s because lightning can be a threat, even if a rainstorm headed to the beach is more than 50 miles away. Experts know there are two places you do not want to be when lightning strikes: Water and an open beach.
Getting a sunburn is as common as sand at the beach. The intense UV rays of the sun cause sunburn, skin cancer, and eye problems. It helps if you sit under a protective umbrella and wear sunglasses. Of course, apply broad spectrum sunscreen a half hour before getting in the water and then reapply every two hours.
Approximately 2,000 species of jellyfish are in beach waters around the world. All varieties of jellyfish sting! About 70 jellyfish species cause serious harm and sometimes cause fatalities. If you get stung by a jellyfish, inform the lifeguard, who will probably have first aid supplies to provide relief for the sting. Don’t fall for the myth that urine relieves the sting because it’s a total fallacy.
Drowning is a potential threat at the beach for people of all ages. Tips to avoid drowning at the beach:
- Never swim alone
- Know your swimming ability
- Swim near a lifeguard
- Avoid rip tides
- If you are weak due to injury or illness, don’t swim at the beach
- Frequently take breaks
Have Cautionary Fun at the Beach!
We take risks just being alive. It’s okay to plan a beach trip for summer, as long as everyone is aware of the various risks and hazards. Happy summer!