Don’t let these Indian summer days fool you, beach season is formally coming to a close. And while autumn is imminent, and winter is close behind it, there’s still never been a better time to rehearse the rules of beach safety.

One might be quick to dramatize the dangers lurking beachside: conjuring images of man-eating sharks, but really, there are many ways one could be injured or killed while swimming in the ocean.

Here are some tips for you to remember, so that when spring rolls back around, you can hit the surf with style and security.

The first thing to note are the safety signs posted around most beaches. The allure of the waves can sometimes make preliminary signage easy to miss, but there’s some important info written on these posts, and it’d do you well not rush past them. They can forewarn you about the dangers of riptide, and help inform you about the rules and regulations of the particular beach. Some beaches employ a colored-flag system that signify the times at which it is most safe to swim, and familiarizing yourself with these systems can help you avoid injury or drowning. The most important sign of all to heed? “Beach closed.” Officials have your best interest at heart, and they are trained in determining safe conditions for swimming; they will close a beach only when it poses a serious threat to your well-being or when the necessary lifeguards are not on duty. This is another important point, never go swimming when there are no lifeguards on duty. Even experienced swimmers are capable of making fatal mistakes. Lifeguards provide an important safety net for your seagoing experience.

You can rely on your own common sense as well. Stormy conditions can not only make for rougher, choppier waves but can bring along lightning. One lightning strike can electrify a vast swathe of swimming space, due to the conductivity of seawater. Never go swimming during inclement weather- it’s just too risky.

When you think about the beach, what do you think about? After the water and sand itself, you think about the sun. There are peripheral dangers in overexposure to sun. Sun stroke, or on a more long-term scale, skin cancer, are hazards caused by too much sun. Make sure you wear sun screen and take adequately long breaks in the shade to avoid causing damage to your skin. Replace the water you lose while sweating by drinking plenty of water. Hydration is key.

These are all very realistic problems that may arrive on your trip to the beach, but there are practicable methods available that will help you avoid injury. It’s important to understand your limits and not undertake anything you cannot physically handle. And while it’s rarer, do keep your eyes out for dangerous aquatic life! If you stay alert and you maintain caution, there’s nothing that’ll stop you from having a fun sun-soaked day at the beach.

We at Kaplan Lawyers PC hope you enjoyed this off-season safety primer, which should provide for a great summer season next year. But remember, public beaches must adhere to the same safety regulations that other public spaces do. If you’ve tripped and fallen on faulty boardwalks or other beach access staircases, you may be entitled to compensation that will help you with your medical bills. If you believe that you’ve suffered from sunstroke due to inadequate shade-providing materials, you are not at fault. And as always, if you’re unsure as to the extent of your rights, we are here to help inform you and defend you throughout the entirety of your legal process. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, the consultations are always free. If you or a loved one has been hurt, don’t hesitate- contact us today. Our compassionate and experienced team of attorneys are on standby, ready to help you in your time of need.