Water Safety Part 2- Beaches

When the Florida sun is hot, there’s nothing better than cooling off at the beach.  The salty, cool water feels so relaxing. When I think about packing, I only want to take the essentials on the trip. One of those essential items happens to be a basic first aid kit. We love surfing and making sandcastles on the beach with the kids. I want my children to remember those great times at the beach and that means we need to go prepared.

This brings me to some water safety tips for beaches:

  • Swim in designated swimming areas-These are sometimes marked off places with lifeguard present.
  • Bring a first aid kit– Although lifeguards will have one, it is much easier to have a first aid kit right there with you- especially if you are beach camping and need a few extra items in the kit. Also, by having your own,  you won’t distract the lifeguards attention away from watching the water. So, what should be in a simple first aid kit? Waterproof band-aids, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone cream for insect bites, aloe, and for sure, put in vinegar, shaving cream or any of the lotions for jellyfish stings.
  • Never swim or surf alone– It can be tempting to go out by yourself if others are busy, but it’s not a good idea. If you need help, a friend would be closer help than a lifeguard.
  • Always wear sunscreen- This tip is debatable, but at least exercise caution, especially with children. Create a natural sunscreen if you’d like. Don’t go out in the peak hours of the day. Get enough antioxidants in your food to protect your skin.
  • Life-jackets- You may not know, but a kayak is considered a form of a boat and you must wear a life jacket while using one. Kayaking through the surf is a lot of fun and sometimes dangerous, so wear life jackets. Our kids wear their life jackets as they paddle out into the surf with us and then they like to jump off the kayak when we get close to shore.
  • Be aware of water conditions– Make sure to check the beach flags and know what they mean. It’s important to know if there is a rip current or red tide in the water in order to keep your family safe. Below are a list of the colored flags and their meanings. They are posted daily.

Beach Flags

Don’t let fear keep you from getting in the water at the beach this year. There’s nothing better than cool, saltwater-especially during allergy season. There are a ton of fun things to do at the beach. Have a great time and be water safe!

No salt in your water? Fresh water is refreshing too. Join us for the final water safety section which will be about rivers.

Jellyfish photo by the_tahoe_guy

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    […] I have also been following Outdoor Gulf Coast’s Water Safety series: Part 1 – Pools; Part 2 – Beaches; and Part 3 – […]