What could be more exciting than spending a whole day on a beach? Lying on the beach with a book in a hand, soaking in the sun, walking on the golden sand, and swimming in the giant water body is something that almost everyone enjoys.
But the litter spread on the beach, polluted runoff, untreated sewage discharge, and oil spills in water bodies pose a threat to health. The pathogens in the water can cause severe infections and diseases in the swimmers, while the harsh sun can lead to skin issues.
However, if you keep certain things in mind, you can safeguard your health and enjoy a day on the beach. Read further to know how to stay safe at the beach.
Carefully choose the beach
Micro-organisms, riptides, and other such hazards make swimming dangerous. While selecting the beach, look for any signs that indicate that the beach is not safe.
Instead of going to beaches that are not monitored and cleaned regularly, select beaches that are clean. Properly maintained beaches deploy a team to clean the litter left by the people and use oil cleaning skimmers and other oil and water filtration products for oil spill clean-up.
If you spot any discharge pipe, avoid swimming. Also, avoid going to a beach after heavy rainfall.
Read signs carefully
To ensure your safety at the beach, follow the instructions given by the beach patrol officers or lifeguards.
Look for the flags on the beach. Check the postings and signs placed at the entrance or near the lifeguard tower. Find out the lifeguard station and know about the water condition before jumping into the water.
Swimming in a swimming pool or a small lake is quite different from swimming in a large water body. You need to be wary of weather conditions such as thunderstorms or lightning, undercurrents and tides, debris, rocks, and other such obstacles, local marine life, depth of water at drop-offs, and boats, jet skis, and other such watercraft that may be in the water along with you.
Exercise extra caution if you are swimming in the sea for the first time. Wear a life-jacket and try to stay near the shore. Do not dive-off the high surfaces or cliffs.
Consider taking a beach safety swimming course.
Learn to identify a riptide
Riptides are another hazard of beach swimming that you must be careful about. They are currents where the tidal water flows more swiftly under the water surface. The mighty, fast-moving water can be dangerous as it creates a current that flows opposite from the shore.
If you wish to swim in beach water keep a check on a riptide. If you see foam on the beach, discolored water or seaweed that is moving away from the shore, or waves that are not breaking, stay away from the water.
If you get stuck in a riptide, do not swim in a straight line. Swim parallel to the shoreline
Do now expose open wounds to water
If the water is polluted, it may irritate your skin and eyes, and more so, if you have an open wound. So, if you have an open wound, stay out of the water as you may develop an infection or severe illness.
Do not swallow the water
No matter how clean the water looks, it bears some pathogens. And, if you swallow the water, you are most likely to get sick.
Keep your head above the water surface and try not to swallow the water.
Avoid sun exposure
A good SPF is your loyal companion if you are a beach-baby. To protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, apply a good sunscreen before leaving for the beach. Keep reapplying it every three hours or so.
A day spent at a beach is a day well spent.
If you can’t keep yourself from staying away from the beach, use these tips to keep yourself safe and have a great time on the shore.