A day at the beach should be a day of fun and relaxation. The sun, sand, and water combine for a tropical atmosphere unmatched by any other terrain. With such a perfect setting, naturally your last thought is danger. Unfortunately, being naive to the dangers won’t make them disappear.
Beach safety should be on your mind every trip to the beach. These dangers increase dramatically with small children as they are much more sensitive to the sun and are weaker swimmers. Swimming in your backyard pool is a completely different environment than swimming at your local beach. The powerful ocean waters contain strong currents and crashing waves that can take even the best swimmers off their feet.
Responsible for around 100 deaths each year, rip currents can turn the perfect day in paradise into your worst nightmare. Rip currents are deceptive and deadly. This is why so many people fall victim to them every year. Many rip current related deaths are actually people who try to rescue swimmers already trapped in the grip of the rip. Do NOT attempt to rescue someone trapped in a rip, instead get a lifeguard or call 911.
Sun Exposure and Dehydration
Sun exposure and dehydration is the second biggest threat, often overlooked by inexperienced beachgoers. The sun’s danger hides in plain sight; slowly depleting your body of water and burning your skin. Add the reflective surface of the water and sand and you have one great big UV oven.
Make sure to apply sunscreen to your skin 20 minutes before going into the sun for maximum effectiveness; especially if you sweat excessively. This will ensure the sunscreen has time to soak into the skin. For more important information on sunscreen, check out our article – Sunscreen Explained.
It’s also important to remember to stay hydrated when spending time at the beach. It will only take a conscious effort to drink water when under the sun to stay hydrated.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Dizziness or light headed
- Lack of sweating
- Dry skin that lacks elasticity – doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart beat
Dehydration can quickly set in if left completely ignored while under the most intense rays of the sun between 10am and 4pm.
Did you know that our bodies are made of up to 65% water?
So yes, water is important to our survival. If we lose just 1% to 2%, things start to go south. Again, just making an active effort to drink water while out at the beach will keep you hydrated and out of harms way.