It’s HOT and everyone wants to cool down! What’s better in the summer than a trip to the beach? It’s fun for all ages, but certain precautions should be observed to ensure a safe as well as enjoyable time.
- Know the terrain – the depth of the pool, drop offs in a lake, currents in the ocean. If you don’t know the area, ask the lifeguard, who will be glad to give you safety tips about their beach.
- Always watch children in the water. Don’t assume flotation toys will keep them safe. Make sure life vests fit correctly, as a little child can slip through a vest that is too big.
- Swim with a buddy, not alone. If your friend has a problem, call for help, extend a floatation device to assist the person to turn onto their back to float. Do not attempt to save another person unless you have training in water rescue, as a drowning person may manic and pull you down as well.
- Water and alcohol do not mix, at least not at the beach. Judgment may be impaired and someone may be in over his head without recognizing the danger.
- If you see signs of an approaching storm, get out of the water. Electricity from a lightning strike can travel across the water and electrocute a swimmer. And if you are the tallest object around, you are most at danger of being struck, so leave the beach as well. If you are unable to get off beach and storm is approaching quickly, curl up into a ball squatting near the ground. Do not lie down on wet sand.
By Dr. Rosemary Pomponio