It’s beach vacation time for The Lee’s! Woohoo! We are waking this morning in sunny South Beach, Florida and I’m more than ready to have me a little breakfast and then hit the beach for swimming, sand and surf. There’s never a shortage of fun spending time laying in the sand, swimming, boating and participating in other beach activities, but it’s also important to make safety a top priority.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans take about two billion trips to the beach each year. Although injuries are bound to occur sometimes, no one wants their relaxing beach weekend ruined by unsafe practices that can be prevented. As a mama that frequents the beach during the summer months, I’m sharing my top 5 beach safety tips, so your end-of-summer beach vacations are safe as can be.

Beach Safety Tips- The top 5 ways to stay safe when visiting the beach

Beach Safety Tips

All parents want their kids to stay safe, but the truth is accidents do happen. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control reported more than 2.6 million children 0-19 years old are treated in the emergency department each year for sports and recreation-related injuries. Before hitting the waves (or any water area), keep in mind the following beach safety tips.

  • Pack appropriate gear We never leave the hotel without sunscreen, sandals or flip flops, hats, sun shades, snacks and plenty of water. Just one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chance for developing melanoma later in life. Keep from burning up by slathering on a broad-spectrum sunscreen and make sure you have a source of shade — think hats, umbrellas, tents — readily available. Remember — eyes can get sunburned, too. While spending time in the heat, it’s also important to bring shoes (the sand can get HOT!) and stay hydrated.
Beach Safety Tips- The top 10 ways to stay safe when visiting the beach
  • Be aware of surroundings While most ocean life shouldn’t cause too much worry and shark attacks are rare, it’s always good to be on the lookout for unsafe sea creatures. Barnacles and the shells of mussels and clams can be very sharp, also crabs are known for pinching. Jellyfish are another to definitely avoid. Theycan discharge venom-filled stingers into your skin, causing a sting.
Beach Safety Tips- The top 10 ways to stay safe when visiting the beach
  • Teach water safety Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional deaths worldwide and a person can drown in as little as two inches of water. Waves can be much stronger than you might think. They can even cause injuries, such as simple sprains, broken collarbones, and dislocated shoulders to more serious injuries including blunt organ trauma and spinal injuries. And did you know giving children, aged one to four, formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88 percent? So worth it! If your child does not know how to swim, ensure that they are wearing some type of flotation device at all times, when near water.
Beach Safety Tips- The top 10 ways to stay safe when visiting the beach
  • Watch for warning flags Beaches have different warning flags to make you aware of water conditions and sightings of dangerous marine life. Find the sign on the beach letting you know what each flag color signifies and determine if you should be cautious of anything.
  • Consider accidental and supplemental insurance coverage– Safety is important, but accidents do happen. This is where my friends at Aflac come in- Aflac provides cash benefits to help you and your family get back to the beach and enjoying summer fun. Aflac’s new One Day PaySM  promises to process, approve and pay eligible claims in just one day. They pay you directly, so you can use cash benefits to help cover emergency treatment, hospital stays and medical exams but also for other expenses families may face, such as transportation costs, lodging needs and daily living expenses like groceries or monthly bills. That alone gives me peace of mind, knowing my bills and monthly expenses will be covered if something unexpected were to occur.
Beach Safety Tips- The top 5 ways to stay safe when visiting the beach

What’s your favorite type of vacation? For me, it’s got to be a beach vacation. I love Florida so much that it’s really hard for me to consider going on any other type of vacation. For the past couple of years we’ve visited Destin, Florida, but this year we’re exploring Miami, South Beach and the Florida Keys.

Any other beach safety tips that you follow?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.