The beach can be a wonderful place to relax and unwind with the family, but it is always best to learn and practice beach safety to make sure your vacation goes on without a hitch! Here are some things to keep in mind when visiting the beach!
Also, keep in mind that the CDC still recommends social distancing and wearing a mask when possible in public places. When at the beach, continue to social distance yourself from other families to slow the spread of COVID-19.
First Aid Kit
It is always good to have a stocked first aid kit when doing to the beach. The waves, sand and sun can get intense, and it is best to always be prepared. Here is a list of items to have in your beach first aid kit:
- Ice packs
- Wash cloth
- Water bottle
- After Sun Lotion
- Pain reliever
- Super Glue
What Do The Flags Mean?
At lifeguard stands, you will see different colored flags raised depending on the state of the water. Pay attention to these flags, as they could prevent you and your kiddos from getting hurt in the water.
Lowest hazard, calm conditions
Medium hazard, moderate surf/currents
High hazard, extreme danger, swimming not recommended
- Double Red
No swimming at all
Dangerous marine life
The beach is a huge draw for kids of all ages, but underneath the glow of the sun are some quiet and lurking dangers.
Rip Currents: These strong and powerful pulls are a silent and deadly killer. Teach your children to swim parallel with the beach until they can make their way in and ALWAYS have your eye on them!
Being Buried: This activity may seem innocent, but burying any portion of your body in the sand is not safe. Once a hole has been dug, the risk of being stuck if any sand collapses or as a waves rushes in can be deadly.
Stings: Many water friends have protective stingers to keep them safe from predators. However, sometimes kiddos run into them by accident. If this happens, seek emergency care right away and try to identify the animal that stung them.
What Is a Red Tide?
According to the National Ocean Service, a red tide, or as scientists like to call them, “harmful algae blooms,” occur when colonies of algae grow out of control. This overgrowth can cause toxic or harmful effects on people, fish and marine animals. It can also be debilitating or even deadly, although rarely. The National Ocean Service reports that nearly every summer, one of the best known cases of harmful algal blooms, or HABs, in the nation happens right here along the Florida’s Gulf Coast. They can last from days to weeks and as the name suggests, the bloom of algae often turns the water red.
Did you know that the Florida beach coastline is made up of a variety of types of sand? We have white, orange, black and gray, brown and some that are a mixture of sand and shell. Ever notice how the white sand beaches are cooler to your toes? This is due to the fact that they are made up of quartz, which does not absorb as much heat!
“My kid ate sand… could it be harmful?”
Kids often eat what they shouldn’t, and everything goes in their mouths. Sand should be one of those things that you try hard to keep out. It may seem innocent and benign, but sand, specifically beach sand, can carry many different toxins, even in small amounts. From cigarette butts, fecal matter (animal and, I hate to say, human) to even glass shards, sand can go from fun to icky in an instant.