It’s a gorgeous summer day. The temperature is in the high 90′s, the sun is shining, and it’s too hot for most outdoor activities. Suddenly, you have a brilliant idea! You pack your kids in the car, grab some towels, pick up some sunscreen and head to the beach. What better way to spend a beautiful summer day than swimming with family?
Summer is the most popular time for many families to hit the water for some aquatic fun. However, there are some important safety tips that you should be aware of. Here’s some information to help your lake trip be fun, safe and accident-free.
Stay Close to the Lifeguard
It’s best to park your towels and umbrellas a short distance away from the lifeguard stand. This will make it much easier for your lifeguard to assist you (or your children) in the event of an emergency.
Some beaches don’t have a dedicated lifeguard on duty. If this is the case, you’re going to want to be extra careful with your children. Don’t allow younger children to go above waist-deep in the water. It’s best to also have your children wear life preservers (no matter how much they complain!). If you’re still concerned, you can even take a lifeguard course to become certified yourself.
Bring First Aid Supplies
It’s best to bring your own first aid kit when going to the beach. Though most lifeguard stations will often have a fully stocked first aid kit, you might need yours for small emergencies. Scraped knees, cut feet and bug bites are all minor issues that can be easily treated with a basic first aid kit. If you’d like to gain a greater degree of control over your family’s safety, you can take a Red Cross First Aid course, which will teach you how to deal with more serious injuries or health conditions.
Don’t try to outdo yourself while at the beach. It’s important to understand your limitations, especially if you’re not a particularly good swimmer. If you’re feeling tired, or light-headed, cease all physical exertion immediately. It’s important to bring water to stay hydrated (even though you’re surrounded by water!).
Both UVA and UVB rays represent a real hazard when you’re at the beach – both for you, and your children. You should always carry sunscreen that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. At the beach, you’ll probably need to reapply sunscreen every hour, even if you’re using a waterproof formula.
Know Your Wildlife
Every swimming area usually provides a natural habitat for wildlife. While wildlife are fun to watch (especially for your kids) don’t get too close! Disturbing wildlife could cause animals to become startled, which could cause them to either flee or become aggressive. Teach your children to respect wildlife in the area, and not to get too close to animals in their natural habitat.
Pack for Bad Weather
Even with a great weather forecast, it’s still possible that a storm could strike at any minute. To be safe, pack enough extra clothing and rain gear in case you get caught in a storm at the beach. If you live in an area that’s prone to severe weather, you should also pack a “hurricane kit” of extended supplies for emergencies.