How to Safely Make the Most of your Beach Visit
Sea, sun, surf, sand and… safety? Yes, you can still have fun in the sun at
the beach without risking either yours or your family's safety.
As we head into more stable weather times, Southern California's beaches
become a magnet for leisure, sports, swimming, vacationing and relaxing.
But every year, hundreds of oceanfront visitors end up in trouble or even
in the ER when the excitement of the occasion makes them forget some of the
basic rules for staying safe on the beach.
Others miss the chance of making the most of their days on the beach by
simply not planning their visits well.
We always want the best of everything for our clients, so, in the interests
of enjoying your next trip to the beach, we've set out a few basic points
to keep you happy and safe.
A Quick Guide to Beach Safety
Making the most of your beach trip means protecting your body, inside and
That means applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of 15 to
50 -- and reapplying every couple of hours. If you go in the ocean, reapply
the sunscreen as soon as you get out and dry. For more skin safety tips visit or blog on sun protection!
And it means, keeping yourself well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water
regularly. You'll likely need more than you'd think.
Make sure you read, understand and obey any posted flags and notices. For
your water safety at the beach, it's essential to know what flags mean --
red for strong surf and potential danger, yellow for moderate conditions
calling for extra caution, green for calm and clear.
Purple or blue flags generally indicate marine life that could be
dangerous. If you see these, talk to the lifeguards about them
On that subject, remember that when it comes to water safety of the beach,
the lifeguard is your friend. If you're swimming, stay within their
immediate view. In fact, it's always a good idea to chat to the lifeguard
if you can to check ocean conditions and get any tips about safe and
dangerous swimming areas.
In particular, ask about beach safety and rip currents. 8 out of every 10
lifeguard rescues are caused by rip currents -- strong offshore currents
that are difficult to swim against and can carry you away from the shore.
They're often found around piers and jetties.
(If you do get caught in a rip current, don’t try to swim against it.
Instead, swim parallel to it until you feel the current relax; then head
If you have youngsters with you on your visit, child safety at the beach
should always be uppermost in your mind. Their sense of danger is low, so
you're their first line of defense.
That means keeping them in your sight at all times. If you're with other
adults, agree a watch system so that someone is always monitoring their
activities, including if you have to leave the beach, whether it's for ice
cream or a restroom visit.
Only allow younger children into the water when you're with them. Ideally
your child should be able to swim, which cuts their drowning risk by almost
90 percent. If they can't, they should wear a lifejacket.
Older kids who are good swimmers may not need you but they should still
"buddy up" with another swimmer.
Fun Beach Essentials
If you want to have fun at the beach, make sure you take the right gear.
Before your beach trip, make a quick and simple checklist of the stuff you
need to take, things like:
- Swimsuits -- yes, it's obvious but you'd be amazed how many people forget
- Coolers -- well stocked with water and other cold drinks. Beer? Maybe,
but always swim sober
- Sunscreen (see above)
- Sun hats
- Beach chairs, beach blanket and tent or umbrella
- Life jackets and flotation devices
- Any watercraft or floatables you plan to use
- Flip flops -- the sand can get pretty hot -- and/or water shoes
- Books and reading devices
- Waterproof case for your phone
- Toys for the kids, including traditional buckets and spades
- Bodyboards or surfboards
- Dry storage bag, with towelettes and a small first aid kit.
Get the idea? You may not want or use all of these and there may be others
we haven’t included. But making that list will ensure you don’t arrive at
the beach only to realize you forgot a key item.
Beach Fun Activities
Short of ideas about beach fun activities? You'll find plenty of ideas
online from bodyboard surfing and snorkeling to ball games.
You can buy waterproof playing cards on Amazon and, of course, you can
always join in the moat digging and castle building with the kids.
Beach Dog Fun
Many beaches in Southern California are dog-friendly (you'll find a good
) and taking along your furry friends can add to the fun and excitement of
Make sure you know and follow the rules (for instance, some beaches require
dogs to be kept on a leash) and consider safeguarding them with a pet sun
Mostly, dogs just want to run with the wind and splash in and out of the
ocean. Did you know, by the way, that you can buy life jackets and even
boardshorts and bathing suits for your pet?
But take a good selection of toys anyway, especially of the floating
variety, and keep an absorbent pet towel to dry them off when they finally
emerge from the waves.
Don’t forget to take a good supply of food and water, along with your dog's
own portable dishes. And remember that hot sand can burn paws. Dry, soft
sand is also tough on the joints of older animals.
At the End of the Day
Yes, you can have a fun day or more at the beach and stay safe. But please
remember the golden rule: Leave the beach as you found it (or would like to
have found it) -- clean and free from traces of your visit, and your dog's.
One more thing: while you're away from home, enjoy peace of mind knowing
that your house or apartment is property protected with homeowners insurance or
You did remember that, didn’t you? If not, get in touch with Aldrich Taylor
and we'll have you covered in no time.