If you’re going to be headed to one of California’s many beaches this summer, then you absolutely must know what to do to ensure the safety of yourself and your children. Many people underestimate the dangers of even somewhat shallow water, and the hazards just escalate the choppier the water becomes. To make sure your trip to the beach is a safe one, consider some of the beach-going tips included in a new report.
You first might achieve an understanding of what the various flags on the beach might mean. Although the exact colors could vary depending on the locality, certain colors should be obvious.
Green means the sea is fairly calm, while a yellow flag signifies waters that are a bit choppier. When one red flag can be seen, the waves are strong and you should think twice before swimming. If two red flags are present, the beach has been closed and at no time should you enter the water. Purple means that dangerous marine life is present.
When you go with your kids to the beach, consider swimming in an area where lifeguards are abundant. However, if you instead opt for an area where lifeguards aren’t around, it’s up to you to maintain proper supervision. You should avoid unnecessary distractions that take your eyes from your kids, as it only takes a moment for disaster to strike. So although a cellphone is handy in an emergency, it shouldn’t take your full attention when you’re watching your kids.
Refrain from alcohol consumption while at the beach, and further ensure the safety of children by verifying that they know how to swim long before taking them to the beach. Outfit them with a life jacket and have an understanding of CPR just in case. Should storms approach, get out of the water right away and head home.
Finally, understand one of the most deadly phenomena which can hit the beach: a rip current. 100 people are killed by these narrow channels of quickly-moving water on an annual basis, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
To spot rip currents and prevent yourself from being carried out to sea, be on the lookout for narrow sections of choppy water. Hopefully seaweed or foam will be in the channel to alert you to the presence of the rip current; otherwise, you’ll have to check for differences in water color or a seemingly unnatural alteration to the breaking waves.
If you’re ever caught in one, don’t fight it, as you’ll just exhaust yourself. Instead, pivot so that you’re parallel to the beach and try to swim out of the current that way. Take an angle so that you’re moving both toward the shore and away from the channel. Tell your kids to do the same if they’re ever put in danger.