Heading to Florida beaches for a fun summer getaway, but concerned about basic beach safety? Here’s how to stay safe while visiting the Sunshine State’s popular beaches.
It’s hot here in the summer, people. And even during the winter when the temperatures dip a bit, the sun is still stronger than visitors from northern climes may be used to. Regardless of the time of year you’ll be enjoying the sandy beaches of the Sunshine State, sunscreen will certainly be called for. It protects you from harmful rays and helps avoid uncomfortable sunburns that can get in the way of summer nightlife after a day in the waves.
Consumer Sunscreen Information
Lifeguards and Protected Areas
Communities hire these people for your safety. When traveling with children to places like Cocoa Beach, Fort Myers and other top beaches, it’s important that they realize how important it is to follow the instructions of these lifeguards and to respect any boundaries they set. Also, if swimming out in the water, try to always remain within sight of whatever lifeguard is on duty. That way, if something unforeseen does occur, you’ll be able to obtain assistance.
Sometimes right outside the lifeguard station or the access to the beach you’ll see a colored flag flying, In Florida these are known as ‘hazard flags’ and are meant to inform you if there is anything dangerous in or about the water so even if there isn’t a lifeguard by you’re still not uninformed. Here are the colors commonly used and what they commonly mean:
Green – Conditions are Favorable for Swimming, Low Hazard
Yellow – Medium Hazard
Red – High Hazard
Purple – Marine Pests Present
Red over Red – DANGER. Water Closed to Public Use.
Traffic at Drive on Beaches
Some beaches, like the one in Daytona for instance, allow people to cruise along the sand in their personal or commercial vehicles. These can range from motorcycles and all terrain vehicles to Jeeps, ice cream trucks and even classic convertibles. What does that mean for beach bums on foot? Well for starters, it means you need to be aware. If you’re making your way from the water’s edge back to your beach blanket on the other side of the traffic lane, be sure to look both ways before you proceed. As far as where you place your belongings for the day, make sure you are back from the activity and as out of the way as possible.
Beaches You can Drive On
Security & Personal Safety
If possible, have a beach buddy. Having an extra set of eyes on your belongings while you frolic and play can only be a good thing. If you’re traveling solo, be careful to keep valuables under lock and key in the hotel safe, your vehicle’s trunk, or in a waterproof waist pack you can wear when you swim. Keeping an eye out for suspicious activity is also a good idea, especially if it’s occurring near your hotel entrance or automobile parking spot.
Sand and sun are a large part of the quintessential Florida travel experience. Just make sure you’re practicing proper beach safety while enjoying them.
|Myscha Theriault is a syndicated columnist for McClatchy-Tribune, best-selling author, and professional blogger whose work has been featured by Forbes, MSN, the Los Angeles Times, Boston Herald, AOL, and others. Print interviews include Better Homes and Gardens, Women’s World, and All You Magazines. She is the founder of Trekhound.com, a web site for independent travelers. You can also catch up with her on Twitter.|
Originally Published on May 21st, 2012