Tips to Stay Safe at the Beach
June 30, 2019
It’s summertime! The weather is right, and you might be in a mood to get out from the confines of the luxury apartments and head to the beach for some fun in the sun. That’s all well and good — the beach is a popular destination for a good reason. While you’re there, though, you’ll want to stay as safe as possible, for the beach can sometimes be as hazardous as it is enticing:
“The luster of a beautiful beach -- vivid blue water, cloudless skies, warm sand -- belies the innate perils of the shore. Beaches are subject to the unpredictable, wild nature of our environment. They harbor hazardous plants and animals. They get polluted. They sustain dangerous wave conditions…”
As with any potentially dangerous environment, though, there are ways you can protect yourself and keep your family safe. Today, we’ll be laying some of those safety tips out for you in no uncertain detail, so you can make your trip to the beach a happy, healthy, and, most importantly, non-threatening one.
Beach Safety 101
As we alluded to above, there are numerous potential hazards that exist at the beach. Shorebreaks, rip currents, venomous sea creatures — even entering the water presents possibilities for something going awry, so let’s start with a simple tip and an interesting fact about ocean swimming you might not have realized: always go into the water with your feet first. Why, you might ask? Believe it or not people sustain serious injuries every year from attempting dives into the ocean water. It’s best to leave the diving for the pool; at the beach, enter slowly and watch for hazards.
Accompanying this advice for entering the water is ensuring your swimming skills are up to par before you grace the waves. Swimming in the ocean is different than paddling around the pool — the surf is strong, and the ocean floor is far from flat. There might be unexpected drop-offs (putting you in deep water quicker than you expected), and you don’t want to be caught in over your head.
While swimming, use the buddy system (always make sure you have a friend nearby in case you find yourself in need of assistance), and if you should encounter one of those nasty rip currents, you’ll want to know exactly what to do to escape. First, though, we should probably explain what a rip current is so that you can understand the danger. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has us covered there:
“A rip current, sometimes incorrectly called a rip tide, is a localized current that flows away from the shoreline toward the ocean, perpendicular or at an acute angle to the shoreline. Because rip currents move perpendicular to shore and can be very strong, beach swimmers need to be careful. A person caught in a rip can be swept away from shore very quickly.”
Getting swept away into the deep waters can cause a shock for even experienced swimmers, but the first thing you’ll need to do is remain calm. If you panic, you’ll exhaust yourself and diminish your ability to reach safety. Breathe, try to keep your head above the water, and swim parallel to the shore (as opposed to straight towards it) or float until the current releases you from its grip. Once you’re out, you can swim to shore, or call for help so that someone nearby can rescue you.
You can learn more about rip currents by reading up on NOAA’s Rip Current Survival Guide, and should also take a look at some of the information they have concerning shorebreaks. These waves break directly on the shore, and can generate enough power to cause serious spinal injuries (leaving you paralyzed in the water). This is another reason why you don’t want to dive head first into the ocean, and why you should always inquire about wave conditions before approaching the water.
Earlier, we mentioned that sea creatures can also pose a hazard at the beach. In particular, you’ll want to watch out for jellyfish. Not all are lethal, but some pack enough punch to seriously harm or kill, so watch out for warning signs at your beach of choice, and try to avoid their tentacles if you can. This includes when you’re on the beach (sever tentacles still sting). Should you receive a sting, don’t rinse it with water. Instead, call for first aid, and see a doctor should you have an allergic reaction.
If you’re prone to sunburn, you should take precautions to avoid it. Sunscreen at the beach is a must, and if you return from the beach and find yourself burned, don’t ignore it. If they’re severe enough, sunburns can cause serious medical complications, so stay mindful of your condition and see a doctor if you’re feeling a headache, chills, or fever after your jaunt to the beach.
Last, but certainly not least, you should stay sober while you’re at the beach. Alcohol, in addition to impairing your judgement (making accidents in the water more likely) can dehydrate you, making you more vulnerable to heat-related issues. Avoid the drinks if you can, and if you decide you’d like to rest on the beach with a beer or two, do just that. Avoid the water if you’ve been drinking and keep yourself hydrated to cut down on the chance of heat stroke and other complications.
Return to the Luxury Apartments Safe and Sound
Follow the tips above, and you’ll be back at Hyde Square feeling invigorated and ready to settle in for a cozy evening. And what a cozy evening it will be, what with the superbly-modern residences and fabulous community amenities that make every day feel like a luxurious vacation. This is the way life in Bellevue was meant to be experienced, so why not check it out for yourself. Drop us a line, learn about what Hyde Square has to offer, then prepare to become a part of one of the most fantastic communities here in the Pacific Northwest.