As the days get warmer, folks everywhere are feeling the urge to go relax at the beach. Warm sand and radiating sunlight help soothe the stress that’s accumulated over the winter.
But, a trip to the beach is not without some danger — here are things you need to be aware of:
Lightning & Storms
Lightning is always a risk anywhere you may be. If you hear thunder at any time, it is time to vacate the beach. Lightning can strike up to ten miles away from the main storm cloud. Although it is rare, there have been cases cited in which people have been struck by lightning when skies above are blue and clear. On average, lightning kills more than 50 people each year and injures hundreds.
If you happen to get caught in a storm while you are on the beach, seek shelter immediately. Many beaches have a boardwalk or shops nearby. If your car is nearby, you can safely seek shelter there, unless you drive a soft-top convertible. Make sure you close the doors and windows and do not touch any metal surfaces.
If shelter is not readily available, crouch down, put your arms around your knees, tuck your head down and have only your two feet on the ground. Do not stand near poles or metal objects and never stand near or seek shelter under a tree. Most importantly, always follow the instructions given by lifeguards or local authorities.
If you happen to be in a boat as a storm approaches, it is best to head to shore immediately. Monitor the changing weather conditions by utilizing a weather radio or the WeatherBug mobile app. More lightning safety tips
Sun & Ultraviolet Rays
The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be dangerous to the human body. There are two types of UV rays, known as UVA and UVB. UVA can increase the risk of skin cancer, skin aging, and other skin diseases and UVB rays increase the risk of skin cancer and cause painful sunburns.
To protect yourself from these dangers, it is important to apply and re-apply sunscreen, at least SPF-30, if you are fair skinned. Make sure you get the often overlooked areas, such as the back of your neck, shoulders, feet and the back of your knees. A wide brim hat is also a good idea to protect your head and neck.
Wearing sunglasses is also important. Your eyes can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays, but sunglasses will protect your eyes. It is best to find a pair of sunglasses that absorb at least 90-percent of UV sunlight. More sun safety tips
Even though the outside temperature may be warm, the water temperature can still be very cold. Ignoring this fact can lead to hypothermia. Onset can occur quickly once you’re in the water. Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature falls below normal and can be fatal.
Remember, cold water can cause numb limbs, making it hard to swim. It’s also important to note that body heat is lost 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air!
Heat & Dehydration
Make sure you and your family are drinking plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Dehydration can be the start down the road to heat stroke, which could land you in the hospital. Drinking water will help to cool the body as well as keep you hydrated. More heat safety tips
The beach can be a great break for you and your family as long as you keep yourself and your family protected from the changing forces of Mother Nature. Be sure to download WeatherBug — real-time weather and forecasts help you Know Before™ and our Spark™ lightning alerts keep you safer!
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Be Safe! Know Before™.
The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team