It’s almost summer and we know you’re ready to hit the beach. Here at Caribe Resort, safety is our top priority. Follow these 9 beach safety tips to help keep you and your family safe this summer!
1. Follow Beach Rules & Regulations
One of the easiest ways to ensure beach safety is to follow the rules laid out by public officials. Make sure to read posted signs and follow regulations put in place by local authorities. Some of the most common are no glass or fire allowed on the beach, pick up and remove all trash, and no pets. These rules are here for your protection and can help keep you safe. You can find a full list of rules and regulations for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach at the links below.
2. Know the Beach Flags and What They Mean
Public beaches along the Gulf Coast display warning flags indicating tide conditions. Paying attention to these flags is essential to your safety. Make sure to check the color of the flag before each visit to the beach, as they can change several times a day. Below is a graphic that outlines what these flags mean.
3. Be Aware of Rip Currents
Rip currents pose a danger to beach goers because they are powerful and move extremely quick. Strong currents flow directly from the shore, through the breaking waves, and out into the open water.
4. Weather Can Be Dangerous
Weather is an important factor when planning your next beach trip. Lightning is one of the most common weather related injuries on the coast. When thunder and lightning are present, the safest option is to seek shelter away from the beach. Visit the link below to sign up for Baldwin County Emergency Weather Alerts and stay up to date on local weather conditions.
5. Stay Hydrated & Bring Snacks
Exposure to the sun can cause you to sweat and lose vital nutrients. Drinking plenty of water helps keep you healthy and hydrated. Food provides us with the energy we need to keep our minds sharp and our bodies running effectively. Swimming with minimal energy can cause you to become tired quickly and make it difficult to swim.
Make sure to fuel up beforehand and bring plenty of snacks on your next beach trip to supply your body with ample energy for swimming. Dehydration and shortage of fuel can easily lead to disorientation and reduced energy. This can be dangerous when swimming, especially in the surf.
6. Be Aware of Marine Life
The Gulf is home to several types of marine life. Most are not a cause for worry, but it is helpful to be aware. Do not be alarmed when you see marine life. Be cautious and follow these simple steps for beach safety.
The most common animal that people fear when entering the Gulf are sharks. While it is very important to be alert and mindful of their presence, shark attacks are uncommon and are very rarely fatal. If you see a shark, do not be alarmed. Simply exit the water as quickly as you can without panicking.
Jellyfish are prevalent along the Gulf Coast. They float with the current and while they do not purposely sting you, any contact with their tentacles will cause a painful reaction. Most jellyfish stings can be treated at home and are fairly easy to manage. First, remove any remaining tentacles with a flat object such as a credit card. Make sure not to touch them with your hands as they can continue to sting. Next, rinse the sting with saltwater, then with vinegar to deactivate the stingers. Despite popular belief, urinating on jellyfish stings does not alleviate discomfort and may cause the stingers to release more venom.
Other animals to be aware of are the various species of stingrays. Rays like to spend their time on the seafloor and bury themselves in the sand. To make sure you don’t step on a ray, shuffle your feet as you walk through the water. This causes vibrations along the floor and will scare away any nearby rays.
7. Sunburn Isn’t Your Only Concern
Sunburns aren’t the only dangers you can face when you expose yourself to the sun. Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and sun poisoning can threaten your health and make you very sick. Know how to identify the signs and symptoms: confusion, dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea, pale skin, weakness, or swelling of the hands and face. To assure that you and your family are protected, apply sunscreen every hour and take an umbrella or canopy tent to give you a safe place out of the sun. If you or someone, you know is experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or sun poisoning, seek medical attention.
8. Know How to Swim
Even in the calmest of conditions, entering open water can pose potential risks to anyone that is not an experienced swimmer. Crashing waves are powerful and may pull an inexperienced swimmer underwater. Swimming lessons can be started as early as a year old and decrease the risk of drowning by as much as 88 percent. If you or someone you are with does not know how to swim, ensure their safety by having them wear a well-fitted life jacket.
9. Know the Signs of Someone in Distress
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional deaths worldwide and can happen in as little as two inches of water. While we typically think of someone waving their hands and yelling while drowning, the truth is that drowning is normally quiet. Look for signs such a person whose head is low in the water, leaned back with their mouth open, closed eyes or inability to focus, or trying to swim and not making any progress. Learning the signs of someone in distress can help save a life.