Labor Day is just around the corner, and you may be thinking about taking your family to the beach. Whether you plan to spend a few hours or an entire weekend in the water, it is important that you take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe as you all have fun. These beach safety tips will help your family remain safe as you enjoy your holiday.
Learn How to Swim
Before you head out to enjoy the waves, make sure that everyone in your family knows how to swim. There are many places in the Sugar Land area that offer swimming lessons, and these skills will minimize your risk of drowning. You will also need to practice swimming in a pool before you hit the beach because the ocean waves will require you to use more strength.
Wear a Life Jacket
If someone in your family is not a strong swimmer, then he should wear a life jacket each time he goes out in the water. A life jacket could prevent your loved one from drowning if he accidentally goes out where the water is too deep or if the surf catches him off guard.
Watch for Rip Currents
Rip currents are very dangerous and can turn a fun excursion into a dangerous situation. If you get caught in a rip current, you should remain calm and swim parallel to the shore. If you don’t feel safe swimming, tread water or float as you try to get a lifeguard’s attention. Rip currents often occur near jetties and piers, so you will be safer if you stay at least 100 feet away from these structures.
Know the Warning System
Many beaches have some type of warning system in place that will help you determine whether the water is safe enough for you and your loved ones to enjoy a swim. Many beaches, including those in Galveston, use a flag system, and you should familiarize yourself with the colors of the flags and their meanings before you plan a day at the beach. Galveston Island uses the following flags:
- Green – Calm water
- Yellow – Normal conditions, and swimmers should be alert
- Red – Unusual conditions, including strong winds, large surf or strong currents
- Purple – Jellyfish or other hazardous marine life may be present
- Orange – Potential problems with the quality of the air or water around the beach
You can also talk to a lifeguard if you have questions about the condition or safety of the water.
The hot and humid air on the beach can cause you to become dehydrated quickly, which is why you should drink plenty of water during your trip. If you become very thirsty or begin to feel overheated, find some shade and take some time to rest. You should also avoid drinking alcohol, which can lead you to become dehydrated even faster.
The beach is a great place to spend Labor Day weekend, but it is important that you keep your family safe.