Enjoy the Beach Safely
The beach is a popular summer destination for families. The United States contains over 88,000 miles of shoreline that includes oceans, lakes and bays. Beaches provide fun recreational opportunities like swimming, building sand castles, playing volleyball and much more. However, it is important to be safe while enjoying yourself. Please keep these tips in mind when visiting the beach:
1. Learn to swim.
2. Always swim near a lifeguard.
3. Don’t swim alone.
4. Don’t swim after heavy rain, when there may be pollutants in the water.
5. Don’t dive into waters you don’t know. Remember “feet first, first time.”
6. Use sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
7. Always follow lifeguard directions.
8. Watch for trash and other kinds of pollution. Throw trash away in the trash can; if there isn’t a trash can, take your waste with you and throw it away at home.
9. If you are in trouble, wave or call for help.
10. Don’t swim near trash or storm drains.
Image courtesy of EPA.
Learn more about the beach!
- Ready to have fun at the beach? Make sure you protect yourself from the sun and stay safe in the surf with these tips. (Click the infographic for a larger view.)
- Did you know that beach water can become polluted when rainwater washes pollutants, such as fertilizers, pesticides, trash and pet waste from yards and streets? When these pollutants build up in the water, they can cause harmful algal blooms (HABs) to form, making water unsafe for swimming and recreation. HABs can be green or bluish in color and release toxins that can make people and pets sick. Check out the infographic below for tips on what to do if you come across an algal bloom. (Click the infographic for a larger view.)
- Wind can create waves. When wind starts to blow over calm waters, it creates ripples. As the wind increases, the ripples get bigger and begin to move. As wind speeds increase, these waves can eventually get big and steep enough to break on the shore. Typically, this happens when winds are a three on the Beaufort wind scale, which is a gentle breeze. (Click the infographic for a larger view.)