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5 Tips for Beach Safety

Spending time at the beach is one of our favourite things to do as a family. Swimming, snorkelling, diving, the toddlers love sandcastles and looking in rockpools etc.

In general, it’s safe if you follow the rules and plan well.

Australia gets hot, the sun can be harsh, the waves are big, and rips and sharks can be a concern, so you need to be aware of what is going on around you to fully enjoy your day.

Here are a few safety tips for the beach.

5 Tips to Stay Safe at the Beach

1. Sun Protection

First and foremost, protect your skin from the sun. This was drummed into most of us as kids but it’s still an issue.

Wear sunscreen but apply it before you get to the beach, not when you are already in the sun and then reapply as needed.

Have shade at the beach, use rashies and similar, especially on the kids, wear sunglasses, hats and be conscious of your time in the sun.

2. Think About Footwear

Hopping across hot sand is not fun even if some think it makes them tough.

However, when you are jumping about like that you generally don’t take the time to look too closely at where you are treading.

I’ve been at beaches that have broken glass, rubbish and various things either dumped or wash up and it would be easy to miss that if running to get off the hot sand.

All sorts of things can be in the sand from jellyfish, to sharp objects, to rocks just under the sand, you never really know what your next step could mean.

Get a good pair of shoes, e.g. Archies thongs to protect your feet because you want a quality pair that won’t break.

5 Tips to Stay Safe at the Beach

3. Understand The Tidal Flow and Rips

Most people know about the ocean tide, but if you’re not careful, the speed of its ebb and flow can take you by surprise.

This is especially true if you don’t spend too much time around beaches.

Sometimes, the tide can go from being fully out to fully in within the space of an hour or less and rips can form without you realising.

That’s why it’s so important to be careful about where you set up and to always pay attention to signs on the beach and what the lifeguards say.

Getting caught in a rip or the tide being too strong can happen quicker than you think.

4. Understand The Particular Rules Of A Beach

Not all beaches are alike so you need to be well aware of the rules, when lifeguards are on duty and what different flags mean.

Swimming between the flags is one of the most common rules in Australia that many tourists are unaware of.

But did you know the black and white flags mean surfing and boards aren’t allowed?

If sharks are a concern, look for locations that have shark nets and helicopters checking and never swim at dawn or dusk.

Another thing to consider is some beaches are made of pebbles or glass or are known for larger amounts of marine debris which can all impact what you are allowed to do at that beach.

5 Tips to Stay Safe at the Beach

5. Pack a First Aid Kit

Hopefully, you never have to use it but having it handy can help should anything happen.

If you’re swimming at a beach with lifeguards, this is less of an issue.

For those beaches without lifeguards on duty or if you go outside their work hours, a first aid kit is important.

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