Five ways to stay safe at the beach

Topics: National, Water Safety
July 01, 2013

Five ways to stay safe at the beach

From splashing around the shores to spreading out on the warm sand and soaking up some much-needed sunshine, the beach offers a variety of activities both for you and your family.

The crystalline waters of a big lake or ocean can provide the perfect respite from work and other stressors. If you've been feeling all cooped up over the winter, hitting the boardwalk and digging your toes in the wet sand can immediately lift your spirits and leave you feeling exuberant in the days and weeks to follow.

Yet as much fun as the beach can be, it's also important that you practice safe habits while you're there. As one of the most active non-profit organizations in the country, the Canadian Red Cross offers a variety of water safety programs that can help you improve your knowledge and awareness of aquatic risks before starting your sunny adventures. Consider these five tips to stay safe at the beach!

1. Wear a lifejacket
Drowning can be more common than you think, but it's entirely preventable with the right preparation. Wearing a lifejacket or a personal flotation device can reduce the risks of drowning and other water-related emergencies.

2. Don't swim alone
You may not think swimming in the open water alone is unsafe, but doing so can leave you vulnerable, especially in the event of a rogue wave or undertow gripping you in its snare. By swimming with a group of friends, you can have more fun yet also gain an essential layer of support.

3. Drink plenty of liquids and avoid alcoholic beverages
Chances are you won't be visiting the beach when it's chilly out, but rather, when the temperatures are high. As a result, dehydration can be more common than you think and affect your ability to enjoy the beach. Try to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and also avoid alcoholic beverages, as they can impair your judgment and lead to dehydration.

4. Wear sunscreen
This often overlooked tip can save you much worry and frustration while you're at the beach, not to mention once you leave! Spending hours sprawled out on a beach blanket or playing volleyball with friends can seem idyllic, but wearing sunscreen while doing so is essential for your skin's health. By taking the time to invest in a good lotion with a high sun protection factor, you can keep your skin safe from harmful ultraviolet rays.

5. Take swimming lessons
If you really want to enhance your confidence in the water, one of the best ways to do this is to sign up for swimming lessons. The Canadian Red Cross has many courses for Canadians of all ages that can help people improve their skills and swimming abilities.

Show your support
Staying safe this summer in the water is one of the most important things to think about. While it can be difficult to focus on practical concerns while you're having fun in the sun, doing so can ensure that you and your loved ones are protected while you're outdoors.

The Canadian Red Cross is an organization that has worked tirelessly to educate Canadians on the tenets of water safety and preparedness. By helping people gain a better sense of the risks and the rewards that come from aquatic activities, the Canadian Red Cross gives individuals the opportunity to truly enjoy all that nature has to offer.

To show your support for the Canadian Red Cross' water safety programs, please donate online or at your local office today.