You probably have an idea of your perfect day at the beach: the sound of the waves, a cool breeze, and some sun-kissed skin – with a glass of your favorite drink in your hand. Perfect, right?
But as peaceful and relaxing as it may seem, you should be aware of some substantial dangers while having the time of your life. And if you’re injured, Beach Injury Lawyers may save your day. All the same, let’s break down the dangers you need to watch out for, even as you lounge on the sand, play, or soak up some sun.
Fancy some outdoor swimming or playing with water? Lightning is a significant danger you face at the beach. For starters, it’s unpredictable and can strike without warning.
Don’t the clear skies fool you. A thunderstorm miles away can still send lightning bolts your way. Ever heard of the term ‘a bolt from the blue?’ Yes, it applies here.
So, be aware of the weather and watch for signs of an approaching storm. If you spot lightning – no matter how far in the distance it may be – head for shelter. While at it, avoid taking refuge under beach umbrellas scattered across the shoreline – their pointed tips may act as conductors. The safest place is indoors; if you’re outside, stay away from tall poles.
Rip currents, or riptides, are a continuous flow of water moving away from the shoreline. Their speed can reach up to 8 feet per second, which is more than enough to pull an average human out of the shallow water and into the deep sea. Be mindful of the red flags lifeguards post on the beach to indicate dangerous riptides in action.
Caught in a rip current? Well, resist the urge to fight the pull, as this will only exhaust you and make it difficult for rescuers to reach you. Instead, Swim alongside the coast until you’re free of the current’s pull. If this doesn’t work, try floating until the current slackens.
Sure, you may have won a few medals at the state swimming championships. But remember: the ocean is a much different proposition. Strong winds and waves can easily push you off course, especially if you swim too far from the shore. Or, you may suffer from cramps, exhaustion, or too much sun exposure, leading to accidental drowning. So, how do you stay safe?
Wear a life jacket when you’re in unfamiliar territory. Don’t overestimate your swimming or surfing ability – overconfidence can be dangerous. And if you’re with someone who can’t swim, never leave them unattended near the water. A swimming buddy can also help keep you safe – should the unfortunate happen; they can notify lifeguards or call for help.
4. Sunburn and Sunstroke
The idea of hitting the beach is to catch some rays, no? While you get some vitamin D, note that you’re also at risk of sunstroke and sunburn. The former occurs when you linger too long in the sun without enough fluids, and it’s worse for young children. Symptoms include dizziness, a rapid pulse, and headaches. Conversely, sunburn results from overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, causing your skin to turn red and painful to the touch.
5. Shore Break
Picture this, you’re surfing, and a wave breaks abruptly in shallow water instead of the usual deep. Before you can react, you’re thrown onto the shoreline due to the waves’ force. Suddenly, you’re fighting for your life.
This phenomenon is known as shore break, and it can cause debilitating injuries such as spinal cord damage and broken bones. The unpredictability of this occurrence makes it all the more dangerous, which explains why surfers need to stay on guard. Talk to a lifeguard or surf instructor before you hit the waves to learn more about the prevailing conditions. Also, look out for posted signs warning of a shore break.
Aagh! You accidentally step on something sharp, and a gushing wound is the result. Now what?
Well, our shorelines have become dumping grounds for debris such as broken glass, sharp-edged rocks, plastic items, broken shells, and medical waste. These can cause serious injury if stepped on. The oceans and seas are also replete with all manner of dangerous discarded items.
As a beachgoer, remain conscious of your surroundings and avoid shallow waters containing dangerous debris. Also, wear protective footwear when walking on the sand.
The beach is an inviting and beautiful place. But as you make merry or enjoy your sea escapades, take note of the dangers mentioned above to stay safe. By being vigilant, you can ensure happy beach days for everyone. And in case of injury due to someone’s negligence, seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney. They can help ensure justice is served.