The Fourth of July holiday weekend is coming up and many of you will head for the beach for some fun in the sand and surf. The American Red Cross wants you to enjoy your trip and offers some steps you can take to stay safe while at the shore.
BEACH SAFETY If your trip to the shore includes swimming in the ocean, learn how to swim in the surf. Swim only at a lifeguard-protected beach, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. While you’re enjoying the water, keep alert and check the local weather conditions. Make sure you swim sober and that you never swim alone. And even if you’re confident in your swimming skills, make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.
Other safety tips include:
RIP CURRENTS Rip currents are responsible for deaths on our nation’s beaches every year, and for most of the rescues performed by lifeguards. Be aware of the danger of rip currents and remember the following:
SUN PROTECTION Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply your sunscreen often. Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb at least 90 percent of UV sunlight. And don’t forget your feet! The sand can burn your feet and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.
During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke—hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke:
FIRST AID APP Another thing people can do is download the free Red Cross first aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergency at someone’s fingertips. The free app is available for direct download from the Appleor Google Play for Android app stores.