Six Dangers You May Face on the Beach
It’s Memorial Weekend. The pools are opening up and if you live in coastal Virginia you are likely to be heading for the beach.
Although the beach can be fun you should look out for certain hazards that can turn a day trip or a vacation into a nightmare.
Earlier this month we wrote about the dangers of swimming pools. Hotels can also have inherent risks. Hazards on the beach are not so obvious, but that does not mean they are not present.
Here are our top five beach dangers to watch out for:
1 – Drinking alcohol
A beer may seem like a refreshing treat at the beach but too much alcohol can lead to dehydration and disorientation. You are at a greater risk of drowning if you are at the beach. There can also be the temptation to drive and put other motorists at risk. DUIs typically spike in the summer months.
2 – Vehicles on the beach
The Tidewater area has some beaches on which vehicles can be a danger, most notably Carova Beach north of Corolla in North Carolina, in which cars are allowed on the beach. Always keep a look out for vehicles and aim to keep your kids away from the main drag.
3 – Rip Tides – Rip currents can prove to be fatal. They account for more than 80 percent of rescues performed by lifeguards. Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water which flow away from shore and can quickly pull swimmers out to sea and into deep water. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves. You should always recognize the danger of rip currents and swim at beaches with lifeguards. Never swim when red flags are flying. See NOAA’s Rip Current Safety Web site.
4 – Shorebreaks
A shorebreak is a condition at sea in which waves break directly on the shore. Shorebreaks are unpredictable and can be very dangerous. They are responsible for many serious neck and spinal injuries to both experienced and inexperienced swimmers and bodysufers. Always ask a lifeguard about the wave conditions at the beach.
5 Sun Burn
Not only can too much sun ruin your vacation, but it can lead to skin cancer. It can take up to 24 hours before the full damage is visible. The two most common types of burns are first degree and second degree burns.
First degree sunburns will usually cause some redness and will heal, possibly with some peeling, within a few days. Although they can be painful , they are best treated with cool baths and bland moisturizers or over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams.
Second degree sunburns blister and can constitute a medical emergency if a large area of the body is affected. When a burn is severe, accompanied by a headache, chills or a fever, you should seek medical help right away. Be sure to protect your skin from the sun while it heals.
6 Sand Holes
Digging a hole in the sand and burying a family member may seem like harmless fun but according to Fox news more people lose their lives or are hurt by sand holes than by shark attacks.
Last year deaths in sand holes made headlines. In June 2007, the New England Journal of Medicine published a letter entitled “Sudden Death from Collapsing Sand Holes,” from Dr. Bradley Maron of Harvard Medical School. He had counted “52 documented fatal and nonfatal cases, occurring primarily in the past 10 years, in which persons were submerged after the collapse of a dry-sand hole excavated for recreational purposes.” Maron said 31 of those 52 people died, and “the other 21 survived by virtue of timely rescue involving extrication from the sand; many of them required cardiopulmonary resuscitation, performed by a bystander.”
If you are injured or lose a loved one on the beach, in a swimming pool or at a hotel, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077