4 Beach Safety Suggestions
Summer is right around the corner and so are beach activities including trips to the beach, swimming, and diving. Now is the time to prepare. Beach safety is critical and should never be taken for granted.
So what can you do to enjoy a safe and yet pleasant time at the beach? Below are four beach safety tips you need to know about:
1. Be on the "lookout" for red warning flags.
Beaches utilize different flags to indicate the types of surf and currents expected. These flags usually come in a variety of colors, each with its own meaning.
Look for a chart that highlights what each of the flag colors means; this chart often is posted at a beach’s main entrance. If you don't understand the chart make sure to ask a lifeguard about the surf and current conditions before you go swimming.
It is important to remember that not every beach is suitable for swimming at all times. But those who watch for warning flags can minimize their risks during any beach trip.
2. Make sure you know how to swim.
When was the last time that you went to be beach swimming? If it’s been several years, it may be valuable to take a basic swimming class to enhance and refresh your swimming skills.
Just a reminder that young children or inexperienced swimmers should always wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets in and the around water. It always is better to use pre-caution with a life jacket allowing the use to more safely splash, play and, of course, and swim during their beach excursion.
Lastly, you should never swim alone at the beach. By swimming with a friend or family member, you can enjoy a fun-filled experience without putting your life at risk.
3. Make sure you know how to swim.
Rip currents can be menacing and can exist large open water areas and low spots and breaks in sandbars. Before you step in the water, it is critical to ensure that there are no rip currents.
However, in the event that you are caught in a rip current, try not to panic. Instead, you should remain calm, cool and collected and swim parallel to the shore. And after you are out of the current, turn and swim back to shore immediately.
Additionally, be prepared to help others who may be caught in rip currents. If someone is caught in a rip current, ask the lifeguard for assistance. And if the lifeguard is unavailable, don’t hesitate to call 911.
4. Dive with caution.
Diving headfirst into any body of water can create a significant risk. Subsequently, you should always jump in feet first to protect your neck. Subsequently, make sure that you know exactly where you’re diving by inspecting the water depth. Additionally, make sure the diving area is clear of any foreign objects or obstructions.
So how can a lifeguard assist you? The United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) reported the chance that a visitor will drown while attending a beach protected by USLA-affiliated lifeguards is 1 in 18 million, or 0.0000055 percent.
Lifeguards provide crucial assistance at beaches and public swimming areas. However, sometimes they may not be around. That's why learning CPR and First Aid to assist with lifesaving skills is paramount. With our experienced instructors here at Help-A-Heart CPR you can receive the hands-on assistance you need to become CPR and First Aid certified.
Ready to enroll in a CPR training course at Help-A-Heart CPR? To learn more about our extensive CPR training programs, please contact us today at (210) 380-5344.
Dr. Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.