VIRGINIA BEACH — Summertime means beach time and the city has a lot of oceanfront access to offer visitors and residents.
Before heading out for a day at the beach, here are some rules and information you need to know from the city’s department of Emergency Management Services.
The most important thing lifeguards and EMS workers want people to do is to never leave children unsupervised, said Kevin Lipscomb, the city’s EMS division chief for.
It can be easy to lose track of people when the beach gets crowded and lifeguards have had to help find kids in the past, he said.
Lipscomb also said people should never swim alone but rather in a pair or a small group, make sure they’re near a lifeguard, swim sober and keep out of the water from dusk until dawn.
People often overestimate how far they can safely swim from the shore so Lipscomb recommends that swimmers stay where their feet can touch the sand and their head can stay above water.
He warns against relying on inflatable toys for swimming assistance and cautions against diving headfirst into the surf.
If you’re planning on staying out of the water for the day, Lipscomb has some tips for staying safe on the sand, too.
You should stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, use sunscreen and spend time in the shade to take a break from the sun.
Lipscomb cautions against burying yourself in the sand as well, he said sand isn’t as stable as you think it is.
“The lifeguard is a great resource,” he said. “Ask your lifeguard questions and make them aware of problems.”
To learn more about safety and the city’s waterfronts, click here.