There’s nothing better than summer break. You can spend your days lounging on the beach, playing in the surf, and enjoying the company of friends and family. Unless, the day ends in disaster! Fortunately, your friendly real estate agents at Century 21 Broadhurst have a few simple beach safety tips that can help you enjoy the best of the beach without any avoidable mishaps!

Tip #1 – Remember sunscreen, and use it often. The salt water will strip sunscreen from your skin faster than fresh water, so it’s important to reapply often - especially since the sun reflects off the sand and can cause burns much faster than if you’re just working in the yard or playing at the park. This is especially important for the little people in your life. One severe childhood sunburn can more than double a child’s chances of skin cancer in the future.

Tip #2 – Drink lots of water. You can become dehydrated even if you’re soaked in the surf all day. A good rule of thumb is that you should drink one 16 oz. bottle of water an hour while out on a hot summer day.

Tip #3 – Wear shoes. You never think of going to the beach with shoes on, but the truth is, the sand gets blistering hot very quickly. Protect the bottoms of your feet, too.

Tip #4 – Be aware of ocean life. The ocean is home to all manner of creatures, but the most common ones you’ll encounter are jelly fish. Watch for and try to avoid jellies, but if you do get stung by one, don’t rinse with fresh water. Instead, scrape the area that was stung with a credit card to remove any remaining stingers, rinse with sea water, and then rinse again with vinegar for at least 30 seconds. It’s a great idea to pack a spray bottle full of vinegar to bring to the beach with you, because in most cases, this will take the sting out of an unintended encounter with a jelly fish.

Tip #5 – Learn to recognize rip currents. Rip currents are common along South Carolina beaches and are one of the most dangerous beach phenomenon. But how do you recognize them? Avoid water in areas that seem to be especially choppy, that have a significantly different color than the surrounding water, or that show a perpendicular break in the incoming wave patterns. These are most likely areas with rip currents present. And if you happen to be caught in a rip current, above all, stay calm! Don’t try to fight your way back to shore. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you break free from the current. If you become too tired or can’t break free, float on your back and try to wave your arms or make noise to catch the attention of other swimmers or lifeguards who can help you.

Tip #6 - Protect the sea turtles! If you dig holes in the sand during your play, please fill them in when you leave for the day. Likewise, if you build sand castles, please knock them down and smooth out the sand before you head out. Sea turtles often come onto the beach at night to lay their eggs. Sea turtles can't see the holes left by humans or that may occur when the tide "restructures" our magnificent sandy creations and they can get trapped in them die. Be kind. Remember that the beaches are home to many species of wildlife.

The beautiful Grand Strand beaches are the place for summer fun - as long as you remember to stay safe! Follow these few precautions and have a great summer enjoying the sand and surf.