Thursday, 23 September 2010

Beach Safety – Having fun and staying safe whilst at the beach

Almost everyone loves the beach! It's the best place to do almost anything; relax, exercise, picnic, camp, take a nap and so on.

Considered one of God's wonders, those who are fortunate to live along the coastline have the opportunity to spend ample amounts of time at the beach. 

The rest of us however, spend most our time wishing our working day would end and dreaming of lazy holidays sunning ourselves outstretched on a beach.
How many hours do you spend dreaming about your next trip or looking for that special swimsuit or summer dress just perfect for your holiday? Everyone one does and I bet you're thinking about it right now.

However there's another side to the beach that many of us don't know about, or forget in the excitement of the moment. The beach can be a fun place but holds hidden dangers as well. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

One of the biggest hazards you face at the beach is the sun, regardless of your age or how frequently you visit the beach. It can effect anyone, whether you are ghostly flower or as tanned as a native.

The most dangerous hours to be at the beach are between 12pm and 3pm, this is when the sun it's at its peak.That doesn't mean you need to avoid the beach altogether, however there are things you should do to prevent skin illness; 
Always use factor 50 and reapply at least every hour. If you take a dip in to the sea, reapply again once you have dried off, even waterproof creams can still be rubbed or washed off whilst you splash about.
Pay particular attention to young children reapplying sun cream even more frequently and take a sun umbrella to provide them with some shade whilst they play in the sand.A great tip to keep your children safe and cool while under the umbrella is to soak a t-shirt in the cold water and put it on them, do it frequently and they should be fine.

You many have noticed the little flags that the life-guards put up but do you know what they mean? Here are the most common ones you should pay attention to 
Green - Means its safe to swim and you are free to enter the sea and have some fun. However always keep an eye on children and make sure the life guards are visable.
Yellow - Be cautious; You are still free to go in the sea, but need be more careful. If swimming or playing in the sea when displayed make sure the beach is being watched by a life-guard. One of the many reasons for a yellow flag is the tidal currents, even when the sea appears calm and quite these lurk underneath the surface of the water and can be found close to rock outcrops or wave breakers. Generally harmless to an adult, children could find themselves getting into difficulty  so don't leave your children unattended in the sea. 
Red -   "DON'T GO IN" The sea is a strong force, even for the greatest of swimmers. When the red flag is flying it can be really dangerous. You will often see this flag when the sea is really rough.

Be mindful of the water temperatures, and enter the sea slowly if the water is cold. Cold water can cause thermal shock to both old and young and can prove fatal; provoking fainting and heart failure.

The best snacks you can take to the beach are vegetables, fruit, natural juices and water. Packed full of carotene and rich vitamins they help defend your body against the sun. 

With the heat of the sun, digestion can be slowed and eating heavy meals may cause you indigestion. However these types of snacks are light and may also aid digestion.

Remember when eating and swimming that normal digestions takes at least two and a half hours. 

Most importantly, always drink plenty of water. Dehydration can occur quickly, especially in hot temperatures so make sure both you and children are drinking regular amounts. However sea water is salt water and increase dehydration. 

In addition, depending on the country you are visiting some areas of sea can be polluted so avoid swallowing this at all times.

One final word of warning. Beach sand can hide a number of different insect species, as well as become polluted from human neglect or the sea. Never allow your children to play naked on the sand for risk of infections and all pick up your rubbish and discard is appropriately.

So next time your one the beach, take note of these few things and make sure you have some fun in the sun whilst staying safe!