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Florida Guide > Hints and Tips

Beach Safety

After a few days at the parks, why not take a trip out to Cocoa Beach or the St Pete’s area which are only about an hours drive away. When we can we spend about 3 days at the beach and then go back to the villa, recharges our batteries and it’s a nice rest for all of us. There are some really fantastic beaches in Florida particularly on the Gulf Coast. Naples, Treasure Island and Siesta Key in Sarasota are among our favourites. We do a lot of “sea watching” and on most of our visits we have seen dolphins.

We all love the beach but whether travelling with just adults or children, there are safety “rules” to be followed:

Stay within the designated swimming area and ideally within the visibility of a lifeguard.

Never swim alone.

Know the flag warning system

  • Red Flag: Stay OUT of the water - strong undertow and riptides.
  • Yellow Flag: Use CAUTION in the water - some undertow and riptides possible.
  • Blue Flag: Calm water.

Be aware of rip currents. If you should get caught in a current, don't try to swim against it. Swim parallel to shore until clear of the current. Watch children carefully and constantly. It only takes a couple of minutes for them to be knocked down by even the smallest wave and pulled out by a current. Be particularly careful with children using inflatables in or near the sea.

Use common sense - if the waves look dangerous. . . they probably are.

Jellyfish cause intense burning. Lifeguards know the first aid procedure for reducing the pain. Any kind of bite you have gained in the sea should be treated with one of the myriad of creams available in the drugstores – visit the pharmacist they are fantastic and give great advice, but definitely don’t leave it!

Seek shelter in case of storm. Get out of the water. Get off the beach in case of lightning. Florida can have quite ferocious storms and the beach isn’t the best place to be – go back to your hotel or go for a meal etc, they often pass fairly quickly.

Take a cool box/bag with you with lots of drinks and snacks – bottles are not allowed on beaches and you may be fined if you take them down with you – some beaches do not allow alcohol either so check with your hotel just in case.

Always wear your shoes, the sand can get so hot and you could burn the bottoms of your feet. Also if you go paddling in the sea ensure you reapply your sun cream to your feet – Mom has burnt her feet like this many times before!

Just be sensible and you will have a great beach experience!

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 21 July 2004
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