Beach Safety

There's nothing better than a day at the beach. The sun, sand, and surf… what could be more fun? Here are some general safety tip to keep the whole family safe at the beach.Outer Banks Beach Safety

Public Beaches with Lifeguards

For beachgoers looking for beaches with lifeguard stations, here is a list of bath showers, lifegaurd location, showers, and handicap parking

Swimming Safety Tips

Learn To Swim: Learning to swim is the best defense against drowning. Teach children to swim at an early age. Children who are not taught when they are very young tend to avoid swim instruction as they age, probably due to embarrassment. Swimming instruction is a crucial step to protecting children from injury or death.

Swim Near a Lifeguard: USLA statistics over a ten year period show that the chance of drowning at a beach without lifeguard protection is almost five times as great as drowning at a beach with lifeguards.

Swim with a Buddy: Many drownings involve single swimmers. When you swim with a buddy, if one of you has a problem, the other may be able to help, including signaling for assistance from others. At least have someone onshore watching you.

Check with the Lifeguards: Lifeguards work continually to identify hazards that might affect you. They can advise you on the safest place to swim, as well as places to avoid. They want you to have a safe day. Talk to them when you first arrive at the beach and ask them for their advice.

Obey Posted Signs and Flags: It sometimes seems as though there are too many signs, but the ones at the beach are intended to help keep you safe and inform you about local regulations. Read the signs when you first arrive and please follow their direction. Flags may be flown by lifeguards to advise of hazards and regulations that change from time to time. You can usually find informational signs explaining the meaning of the flags, or just ask the lifeguard.

Learn Rip Current Safety: USLA has found that some 80% of rescues by USLA affiliated lifeguards at ocean beaches are caused by rip currents. These currents are formed by surf and gravity, because once surf pushes water up the slope of the beach, gravity pulls it back. This can create concentrated rivers of water moving offshore. Some people mistakenly call this an undertow, but there is no undercurrent, just an offshore current. If you are caught in a rip current, don't fight it by trying to swim directly to shore. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you feel the current relax, then swim to shore. Most rip currents are narrow and a short swim parallel to shore will bring you to safety. Watch Video

Enter Water Feet First: Serious, lifelong injuries, including paraplegia, occur every year due to diving headfirst into unknown water and striking the bottom. Body surfing or boogie boarding can result in a serious neck injury when the swimmer's neck strikes the bottom. Check for depth and obstructions before diving, then go in feet first the first time; and use caution while riding waves.

Wear a Life Jacket: Some 80% of fatalities associated with boating accidents are from drowning. Most involve people who never expected to end up in the water, but fell overboard or ended up in the water when the boat sank. Children are particularly susceptible to this problem and in many states, children are required to be in life jackets whenever they are aboard boats. Source: http://www.usla.org/?page=SAFETYTIPS

Shark Safety Tips

Chances of encountering a shark in North Carolina waters are very low. Most shark encounters with humans are cases of mistaken identity. But there are things you can do to avoid them. Most encounters occur in nearshore waters, between sandbars, or near steep drop-offs where sharks feed. Read More...

Jellyfish Stings

You might run into some jellyfish, getting stung is no fun. They’re painful, yes, but most can be treated with these simple remedies. Most of the jellies you encounter in the United States are the moon variety, whose sting is mild. Seawater can help flush out pieces of jellyfish tentacles that tend to cling to the skin after a sting. Try NOT to get sand in the wounds or rub them with a towel, this can aggravate the stingers and cause more pain. You also can rinse the skin with vinegar for 30 seconds. Vinegar isn’t really a treatment, as it won’t inactivate venom, but it’s useful for washing off tentacles.

Tips to Help Keep the Beaches Clean

Being a Responsible at the Beach
Plan ahead and bring a trash bag with you on your next trip. If you carry it in, carry it out. If you are having fun with your family and you take food or beverages to the beach - please keep your area of the beach clean.

Always Clean up after your Pets.
Pet waste contains harmful bacteria and organisms that can spread disease. Pick up pet waste, seal it in a plastic bag, and dispose of it in trash cans. Don't hose waste into storm drains. Help keep your neighborhood and your pet healthy and clean.

Well Done! You're ready for the best Outer Banks vacation ever!
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