And this song is my absolute fave!
Monday, August 13, 2012
I don’t think there is a child on earth that doesn’t love the beach. Even if they are not crazy about water there is sand, shells, and so many interesting things to see. Growing up we lived in the mid-west but my dad’s folks had retired in Florida. Every summer we would make a trip to their house. The first thing I remember as I got out of the car was that I was having difficulty breathing; it felt as if someone had their hand over my mouth. The humidity was stifling. I hated being there; they were older because they had my dad later in life. It was boring but there was one saving grace; the beach.
This was the one great memory I have of that time; the glorious beach. When we would go there it made up for everything else. The water, the sand, and the way it felt between my toes, and then there was the nice breeze. As the years went by we ended up moving to Florida. I wasn’t a tourist any more, or as we called them, a snowbird. I was on the beach every chance I had. I’d go after school let out or when I got off shift at my part time job. We lived in a small beach side town about mid-way down the Florida coast.
There are a lot of things you learn the hard way when you are new to the beach. I was in high school, it was the early 70’s, and there weren’t many warnings about sunscreen and sun safety like we have now. I suppose it’s a wonder I made it, between the many episodes of sunburn, heatstroke, and dehydration. The beach is a lot of fun but you do have to keep in mind safety, especially with young children.
These days the importance of sunscreen has been embedded into our psyches. It’s a definite must. I’m sure every mother makes sure her child has their sunscreen on before heading out for a day on the beach. When my daughter was about four years old we had a sunscreen incident. By that time I had moved away from the beach town and we came for a visit. I put the sunscreen on her ahead of time; the problem arose when we got close to her eyes. She didn’t like anything to come close to her eyes so I tried to get it as close to her eyes as I could without a lot of tears and getting upset. She has a very fair complexion so I was trying to make sure she was well covered. I even put more on her after about a half an hour because she was in the water and it wasn’t a waterproof type. I knew we shouldn’t stay more than a couple of hours, at least I thought a couple of hours was okay. After two hours we left and on the 10 or 15 minute drive home she fell asleep. When I got home my grandmother, her great-grandmother came out to the car to see if she had fun. She was so upset with me because I had kept her out too long! Then to add to it, later that evening we went out to eat with the family and my daughter’s eye lids and around her eyes was beet red. She also normally had a very small appetite but this evening she ate her plate clean and was taking anything anyone would give her extra! Apparently, not only did I put sunscreen on wrong, kept her out too long, but I also didn’t feed her properly because she was starving to death.
Needless to say, make sure the sunscreen is everywhere and don’t miss a spot. When the kids haven’t been used to the beach, especially if they are very young, don’t keep them out too long. Try an hour the first time. And make sure they have plenty to eat and drink, even if they say they are not hungry or thirsty because they are too busy playing.
Another thing about beach safety I would like to bring up is floating devices. The ocean has some really mean currents. When I was a young child, about 7 or 8 years old, during one of our Florida trips, I was on a float which I had pushed out past the waves. The waves were calm that day so it was not hard to do, it must have been low tide because it was quite shallow. I was just kind of bobbing up and down with the rolling waves, kicking my feet, and singing. Before much time went by I looked for my parents on the beach, they looked so far away but I didn’t think much of it. Dad and mom were looking upset and yelling something at me that I couldn’t quite hear. The next thing I knew dad dove in and was swimming towards me, and he didn’t look happy. I was thinking I was in big trouble but didn’t know what I’d done. When dad finally got to me he was breathing quite heavily. He just took hold of my raft and started swimming back in. I had really gone a long way out in a matter of minutes and didn’t even know it. Dad didn’t even think he was going to be able to get to me before I drifted out to sea too far for him to swim! Those currents are fast and crazy.
I recall another event that had to do with the current from when I was in high school. I was dating a life guard and was visiting him on the beach. He was guarding a part of the beach that had a large, jutted out rocky cliff. There were signs near the cliff that warned people about the currents and swimming too close. There was a group of tourists that day, they didn’t start out near the cliffs but didn’t notice as they were drawn closer and closer to them. Before anyone realized several of the group were being bashed against the side of the cliffs and couldn’t get out of the current. The life guards got them all to safety but there were some very badly injured people that had to be hospitalized.
The last thing I’m going to warn you about is the creatures you may encounter. I know people are always worried about the sharks but the chances are pretty slim if you are just playing along the shore. There are still some creatures to watch out for like Jelly Fish and Portuguese Man O’ War. Jelly Fish have a very hurtful sting but unless you are stung by a group it usually isn’t serious. The Man O’ War on the other hand can cause great pain, hospitalization, and sometimes death in small or frail people. They are beautiful to look at but don’t get too close! They are usually pretty easy to see because of their size, but beware.
By no means do I want to scare anyone away from going to the beach. Some of my all time favorite memories are from the time I spent there. Just be safe, follow the rules, hydrate, keep your eyes open, and have fun!
Roxanne Porter is a freelancer & a regular contributor for nanny jobs. She helps in providing knowledge about nanny services & love writing on nanny related articles. She helps in giving a fair knowledge about nanny Jobs to the community. You can be in touch with her at “r.poter08ATgmail.com”.