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There is nothing better than being on the beach, hearing the gulls in the distance, the sea lap the shore while the sun beats down. The beach can be a great cost-effective place to relax with friends, with a loved one or with the children. Here are some tips to stay safe on the beach this summer.

Take suitable footwear

Beaches (especially when sand banked) can be difficult to walk on. Choosing the right footwear is important. Go for a sandal which has an ankle strap. This allows you to walk down sand banks without footwear slipping off, go for a paddle. The UK shores are prone to poisonous weaver fish and broken glass, so always keep your feet covered.

 

Well supported sandals are idea for walking on sandy paths

Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it (a reference to a Baz Luhrmann song there). When by or on the water, the sun’s rays become magnified. Wear a waterproof sunscreen, remembering to leave thicker coats on sensitive parts such as the nose, ears, cheeks and shoulders.

In addition to sunscreen, UV protective sunglasses and UV lip balm is a must and can be obtained cheaply on the high street.

Take lots of water

Being in a salty environment on a warm day will dehydrate you. Take plenty of water with you. Distributing water among plenty of bottles makes it easier to keep them cooler under a cover or in a car, drinking one at a time. Remember to take your bottles with you.

Check the tides and be safe in the sea

Always check the tides before you go to the seaside. When swimming in the sea, there are undercurrents which can claim the strongest and most experienced swimmers. Avoid swimming when the tide is going out and ensure the sea isn’t too rough when coming in.

Ensure you know where you are and where the nearest help points are located

If you’re using inflatables with your children, keep them supervised and tethered at all times to an adult. Avoid depths greater than waist height.

Sandbanks can be dangerous, don’t dig tunnels

Tunnelling is an attractive proposition, especially for children, or adults after a few ciders in the sun. Avoid tunnelling at all costs. They can collapse without warning, leading to suffocation and crushing. Trying to clear sand is a time-consuming and dangerous task.

Drinks and a BBQ? Great! Take some bags and water

The beach is a great place to BBQ and drink a few beers in the sun. When using disposable BBQs or creating fires, ensure you take at least 3 litres of water to put out your BBQ after you’re finished. Ensure you dispose of it in a foil-lined bag and that the coals are completely cold. It’s best to allow a couple of hours to pass before throwing away. Ensure that you have your BBQ or fire away from wild grass and vegetation.

Beach BBQs are fun, but leave the beach as you found it

Take any rubbish away with you. Bottles and packaging create a mess and pose problematic for the local ecology. Try and avoid taking glass bottles if possible.

Avoid feeding the locals

Resist the temptation to feed the feathered locals

The temptation is to feed the local bird population, but this can be incredibly damaging to their delicate bodies. Another negative side effect of feeding birds, especially gulls is, they can become violent and will poop on you. Feed one, and more will come. Seagulls can be menacing for locals and visitors alike; don’t feed them!


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