Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Break - Beach Safety Tips

It is beginning to feel like spring.  For those of us in Nebraska -Spring break is right around the corner..

It is a great time to get away from the cold, dark days of winter and have some fun in the sun. Keep yourself and your family safe on the beach with the the following tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Sun Safety for the Family
  • The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try to keep out of the sun during those hours.
  • The sun’s damaging UV rays can bounce back from sand, snow or concrete; so be particularly careful of these areas.
  • Most of the sun’s rays can come through the clouds on an overcast day; so use sun protection even on cloudy days.
  • When choosing a sunscreen, look for the words "broad-spectrum" on the label - it means that the sunscreen will screen out both ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. Choose a water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen and reapply every two hours.
  • Zinc oxide, a very effective sunblock, can be used as extra protection on the nose, cheeks, tops of the ears and on the shoulders.
  • Use a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
  • Rub sunscreen in well, making sure to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet and hands, and even the backs of the knees.
  • Put on sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outdoors - it needs time to work on the skin.
  • Sunscreens should be used for sun protection and not as a reason to stay in the sun longer.

 Beach Tips *
  • Drink plenty of water, non-carbonated and non-alcoholic drinks, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Stay within the designated swimming area and ideally within the visibility of a lifeguard
  • Never swim alone.
  • Be aware of rip currents. If you should get caught in one, don’t try to swim against it. Swim parallel to shore until clear of the current.
  • Seek shelter in case of storm. Get out of the water. Get off the beach in case of lightning.
  • Watch out for traffic – some beaches allow cars.

    ©American Academy of Pediatrics 2/12
    *used with permission from Florida Travel and Tourism Bureau 

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