Need to know how to be safe at the beach? There is lots of fun to be had hanging out or partying at the beach, but no matter the reason you go, it's important to know how to be safe at the beach. There are a number of different dangers at the beach.
- Be cautious around beach wildlife. Different areas have different types of dangerous wildlife. Some of the major ones include sharks, stingrays, predatory fish and jellyfish. You might want to do a little bit of research before swimming in strange seas. There are some general guidelines to follow. Don't wear shiny jewelry; predatory fish, such as barracuda, are attracted to shiny things because they resemble bait fish. Don't get in the water if you're bleeding; this could possibly attract sharks. And in places where stingrays are common, such as Florida, especially during stingray season, practice the "stingray shuffle." Stingrays bury themselves in the sand underwater, so if you step directly on one, it will most likely sting you. If you shuffle your feet underwater, they will generally swim away before you touch them. Just do a little research before hitting the beach, so that you know what to look out for.
- Be aware of the people around you. There will be crazies at just about any beach. Always have someone keep an eye on your stuff. If you're going to be away from it, put a towel over any valuables. It's best to leave anything highly valuable at home or in a locked car. Also, never take a drink from anyone you don't know.
- Be mindful of objects on the beach. There are always objects in the sand or in the water, whether they be shells or trash. Just try to keep an eye out for sharp rocks or shells. It would be horrible to jump into the water only to land on a sharp shell and have fragments left in your foot that would require surgery six weeks later on a swollen, infected heel. We speak from experience.
- Watch the weather. Weather in coastal areas can often change in mere minutes. Check out a local weather forecast for storms. Large waves can be very dangerous, as can lightning and waterspouts. Avoid the beach in times of severe weather, and pay attention for small craft advisories.
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