The ocean can be both beautiful and volatile. While it offers days full of fun and calm shores, it also presents some very dangerous elements that can be potentially harmful. Here are a few beach safety tips that may help…
Heed the Warnings
Just as it is imperative to pay attention to signs on the road as you drive, it is vital to your safety to heed the beach flag warnings posted by the International Lifesaving Federation. Purple flags warn of dangerous marine life spotted in the area. Double red flags mean that the beaches are closed due to extreme danger posed by rough water. A single red flag indicates that the water is still extremely hazardous, with high surf and strong currents. Yellow means your surf and/or currents yield a medium risk – kind of like that yellow caution light on the road. Green denotes a lower hazard, meaning calm conditions, but you should still exercise caution.
Keep a Keen Eye on Children
It may go without saying, but a mature adult should always be watching the kiddos. Our beautiful shoreline is vast and it only takes an instant to become separated from a child. Plus, make sure that you and your children always swim in front of a lifeguard.
If you are ever caught in a riptide, do not swim against it. Swim parallel to the shore. It may seem farther, but you will actually avoid tiring yourself against the powerful grip of a rip current.
Check the Weather
Florida’s weather can be precarious at times, turning in an instant from sunny blue skies to dangerous dark ones with the promise of lightning. One great way to determine the best beach days is to check the weather report before you head out, just to err on the side of caution.
Protect Yourself from UV Rays
Here in New Smyrna Beach, we love to enjoy our fun in the sun, with a healthy respect for the potential dangers the sun’s rays can pose. Sun safety tips include avoiding extended exposure to the sun during peak times – between 11am and 4pm. Plus, don’t forget the sunscreen. Apply SPF 50 with UVA and UVB protection before you head outside and reapply every two hours, as well when you wear it away with swimming or excessive sweating. For good measure, you may also want to shield the sensitive skin on your face, skin and neck with the added protection of a sun hat or beach umbrella.
Pesky Beach Critters
The beach can pose other potential hazards including sharp shells, crabs and jellyfish that have washed ashore. Just keep a sharp eye out for these pesky problems, and heed the cautions above, and you are sure to enjoy New Smyrna’s Beach like nobody’s business!