Though a famous holiday-themed song has crowned winter as, “the most wonderful time of the year,” we Floridians know that the best months bring hot sun, fun cookouts and frequent trips to The Sunshine State’s world-famous beaches. Though we are not quite in the heat of the summer months, springtime often acts as an appetizer for the summer months that are just around the corner. With that in mind, our thoughts shift to beach safety.
Mother nature is known to be unpredictable. Before you plan your next trip to the shore, make sure you follow these beach safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
5 Beach Safety Tips
- Sunscreen is a must: Though the allure of a great tan can be great, realize that sunbathing, or simply being in the sun for a prolonged period, can lead to serious skin damage. Painful burns are just the start of the dangers, as you also risk sunstroke, cracked, leathery skin and even skin cancer. Even beyond beach sun safety, wearing sunscreen every day is a recommended safety practice by many experts.
- Look out for red flags: Florida’s beaches are known to post colored flags as warning signs to beachgoers. Note that the absence of flags does not denote the absence of danger. For a full breakdown of what the colors mean, visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s website
- Beware the riptide: We have all heard the horror stories of kids being pushed out to sea by the power of riptides. Ensure that you are keenly aware of the riptide risk on the day of your beach trip and teach your family the survival tactics if caught in a current, such as never fighting the powerful pull of the ocean.
- Weather risks: Never plan a beach trip without first checking the weather forecast. Florida’s afternoon thunderstorms are notorious for creeping up on unexpected beachgoers. Once you hear thunder or see a lightning strike, get into shelter as quickly as possible.
- Stay hydrated: You may not realize how quickly your body is burning through its water supply by being out in the hot sun, swimming and being active. Avoid drinking too much alcohol or soda, as both can actually lead to greater dehydration.
As a bonus piece of advice, if you decide to bring Fido to a dog-friendly beach, make sure that your pet is comfortable in this foreign environment. We recommend keeping your dog on a leash to prevent a possibly costly dog bite negligence case.
Fun in the sun can be a great escape for families across the state, but always keep these tips on beach safety in mind. Though Mother Nature is unpredictable, you and your loved ones can plan a trip prepared to handle whatever she may have in store. So, break out the sunscreen, pack some cold water, check the weather and enjoy yourself on one of Florida’s fantastic beaches this spring and summer.