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Essential tips for family beach safety

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Spring time brings out more people to the beaches with their wonderful family-friendly settings for vacations and weekend trips---as long as you think about a few preventive measures.

Beach accidents can happen quickly, and many beachgoers ignore or simply don't know some of the basic rules of the sand.

All beaches hold dangers and one of the biggest deals with swimmers, no matter how experienced they are the strong currents, called rip currents. They can overcome even the most experienced swimmers.

A survey by the U.S. Lifesaving Association found that 80 percent of the rescues done by ocean lifeguards involve persons caught in rip currents. Man-made objects such as rock groins and fishing piers that are built into the water can cause swimming nightmares. These long objects in the water tend to funnel the current offshore which can pull a swimmer farther out to sea.

Next to currents, the most dangerous item on a beach has nothing to do with nature. It's alcohol. Alcohol is one of the biggest factors in drownings on recreational beaches. Stats show that show 50 percent of all drowning victims over the age of 13 had a significantly high blood-alcohol level.

Don't swim alone. It's best to have a buddy system and always swim near a manned lifeguard tower. Most drownings occur at beaches with no lifeguards. The list shows a few tips to make beach trips safe and pleasant.

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Sun protection
Sun protection Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Sun protection

Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that indicated that although protective behaviors such as sunscreen use, shade use, and wearing long clothing to the ankles have increased in recent years, sunburn prevalence remains high, with 50.1% of all adults and 65.6% of whites aged 18-29 years reporting at least one sunburn in the past 12 months

Drink Water Often
Drink Water Often Peter Maciamid

Drink Water Often

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Be especially concerned with the children. It is easy to forget, but is drinking water is critical in the sun. Bring plenty of water for everyone.

No Bare Feet
No Bare Feet Christopher Furlong

No Bare Feet

Sadly, beaches are often full of broken glass, shell, and debris from the ocean. It is very important to wear proper footwear in the sand. Don't forget your first aid kit, just in case!!!

Proper Suntan Lotion
Proper Suntan Lotion Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Proper Suntan Lotion

Our skin is sensitive to sun rays. Waterproof sunscreen is a necessity. Look for at least SPF 30 that is suitable for children. It works for adults too! Stay safe.

Timing is Key
Timing is Key Joe Raedle Getty Images

Timing is Key

Early morning and late afternoons are the best beach times for children. Noontime and afternoon means searing sun that leads to crankiness in most children.

Jelly Fish Remedy
Jelly Fish Remedy Streeter Lecka, Getty Images

Jelly Fish Remedy

One of the more common injuries, especially to children, on beaches is being stung by jelly fish. Jelly fish sting? A spray of vinegar will offer relief!

Under the Umbrella
Under the Umbrella Graham Denholm

Under the Umbrella

Don't forget that families can also have fun out of the water and under the shade of an umbrella. Think about building sandcastles, reading, etc.

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