Staying Surf and Sun Safe in Australia

Thursday February 21st, 2013

If you are planning on spending any amount of time in Australia it is important that you know how to keep yourself safe from the sun and in the surf, and the following tips are some of the best ways to go about it.
Cover Up

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, so whether you plan on spending time on the beach or not, anytime that you will be out in the sun it is vital that you cover up as best as you can. Wearing a decent hat is a good start, and clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible will help protect you against harmful UV rays. It is also wise to apply sun cream multiple times a day, especially during the summer, because you can still get burnt on a cloudy day.

Swim Between the Flags

Apart from being some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Australian beaches can also be extremely dangerous, with the best way to keep safe in the surf being to only swim at beaches that are patrolled by lifeguards, and even then only swim between the red and yellow flags. The surf lifeguards set up these flags in what they consider to be the safest part of the beach and they watch this area closely in case anyone gets in trouble in the surf, making the best way to stay safe in the surf being to swim between the flags.

Never Swim Alone

A good way to increase your chances of staying safe in the surf is to never swim alone, because this way at least someone will know if you are in trouble and in need of help. If you are travelling alone and want to go for a swim, ask around at your hotel or group accommodation to see if anyone wants to do a beach mission with you, because you will both be a whole lot safer this way. If you can’t find anyone to go with you to the beach, tell someone at your short term accommodation when you plan to be back and ask one of the other swimmers in the water to keep an eye out for you.

Don’t Sunbathe

Despite how great you may think it is to get some colour on your skin, there really is no such thing as a healthy tan, so if you care for the long term health of your body avoid sunbathing. The best way to spend time at the beach is in relatively short visits to minimize your exposure to the sun, however if you do want to spend the day at the beach at least cover up while you are on the sand.

Avoid Swimming at Dusk and Dawn

As much as it may seem like a great idea to go swimming at dusk or dawn, it really isn’t safe for you to do so, because this is often the time of day when sharks are most active. Most beach patrols don’t start until at least 8am and only go until around 5pm, so swimming at dusk or dawn will mean you have no trained lifeguards looking out for you, which is never a good idea.

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