Beach Safety Smarts
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Beach Safety Smarts

Everyone loves a day at the beach. But dangers -- from riptides to jellyfish -- can spell trouble. Test your beach safety IQ.

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Beach Safety Smarts
Beach Safety Smarts
Question 1 of 20 Correct

Which of these can cause an itchy rash after a day at the beach?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. Sun exposure can lead to an itchy rash, especially if you're taking certain medications or if you're sensitive to certain sunscreen ingredients. And watch out for sea bather's itch, a rash caused by exposure to the larvae of tiny jellyfish. If you develop sea bather's itch, remove your swimsuit as soon as possible and shower. If you feel itchy, over-the-counter cortisone cream can be applied to the rash, and oral antihistamines can be helpful.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 2 of 20 Correct

True or false: Besides leaving a salty taste in your mouth, swallowing ocean water won't hurt you.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Avoid swallowing ocean water if at all possible. The water can contain bacteria and viruses from people who may be sick and are swimming near you. Also, depending on the beach's location, water from a local sewage facility may be contaminating the water, too. For this reason, you should also avoid swimming with an open wound or any skin opening that may allow bacteria to enter your body.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 3 of 20 Correct

True or false: Because sand is made from stone, it cannot carry bacteria and viruses that can make you sick.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Sand can carry bacteria and viruses, too. Be sure to wash your hands before eating, and take a shower when you leave the beach to avoid carrying the bactera with you and making you or someone else sick.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 4 of 20 Correct

Which of these can help relieve a jellyfish sting?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. The best thing for a jellyfish sting is to wash off the affected area with salt water, then apply vinegar. The acidity in the vinegar deactivates the toxin from the sting. If vinegar isn't handy, urine will work, though it's less acidic than vinegar.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 5 of 20 Correct

If someone is stung by a sting ray, what is the first thing you should do?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: If you encounter someone who has a marine-life sting, the first thing you should do is try to signal a lifeguard to remove the person from the water. If you cannot find a lifeguard, throw out a swimmer's assist device. Do not go in after the person, as you might be stung, too. And avoid touching the person, as the toxins from the marine life may affect you, too.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 6 of 20 Correct

Which of these is a sign of a marine animal bite or sting?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Signs and symptoms of a possible marine life sting or bite include puncture marks, swelling, pain and signs similar to an allergic reaction. If you think you or someone you're with has been stung or bitten by a marine animal, seek out a lifeguard for immediate assistance.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 7 of 20 Correct

Eighty percent of all lifeguard rescues are for which situation?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: The United States Lifesaving Association says that 80 percent of all beach rescues are due to rip currents.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 8 of 20 Correct

True or false: The most effective way to save a person who is out of reach is by swimming to them.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. If someone is struggling to swim, the best way to reach them is to throw out a floating object with a line attached. These devices include ring buoys, throw bags or any floating object, such as a picnic jug, small cooler, buoyant cushion, kickboard or extra life jacket. Once the person has succesfully grabbed the floating object, you can begin to pull them in.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 9 of 20 Correct

If you're caught in a rip current, what swimming maneuver should you use to escape it?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: If you get caught in a rip current, swim horizontally along the beach. Don't attempt to swim straight back to the shore or farther out from the shore. The rip current will end eventually, and then you should be able to swim to shore. If possible, wave to people on the beach that you are having trouble.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 10 of 20 Correct

True or false: Local officials check beach and water quality every day.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. The quality of local ocean waters and beaches is checked by local health and enviornmental officials, and it's usually only checked periodically. A problem could arise between testings, and you may not be aware. Always find a beach employee to ask when the latest testing was in the event contaminants have polluted the beach or water.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 11 of 20 Correct

True or false: Sun exposure is more dangerous at the beach.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. At the beach, the sun's rays can reflect off the sand and the ocean water, which can put your skin at a higher risk of burning. Plus, sunscreens will begin to wear off after prolonged exposure to water or sweat.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 12 of 20 Correct

True or false: Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 when you're at the beach.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 when you're at the beach.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 13 of 20 Correct

Which of these can help relieve a sunburn?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Treat a sunburn with aloe vera, shea butter or olive oil.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 14 of 20 Correct

You should stay indoors during peak sunlight hours. When is the sun strongest?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Avoid a higher risk of sun burn by staying indoors during the time of day when the sun is strongest, which is generally 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 15 of 20 Correct

Which flag indicates you should swim in a lifeguard-supervised area?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Red over yellow means the beach recommends a swimming area with lifeguard supervision. Yellow is a medium hazard, red is a high hazard and red over red means the water is closed to public use.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 16 of 20 Correct

When should you seek medical care if you have a sunburn?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: If a sunburn is severe and accompanied by fever, chills, thirst, trouble breathing and/or a racing pulse, it may be a sign that a more serious sunburn complication is present. These complications include heat stroke, shock and dehydration.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 17 of 20 Correct

True or false: Wearing sunglasses while you're at the beach can help prevent cataracts.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. The sun's ultraviolet radiation has been shown to cause eye problems, including cataracts, later in life. The easiest way to protect your eyes when you're at the beach or out in the sun is to wear sunglasses.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 18 of 20 Correct

How long does it take for unprotected skin to start burning?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun's UV rays in as little as 15 minutes.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 19 of 20 Correct

True or false: You do not have to work as hard to stay hydrated when you're at the beach because swimming in the ocean helps you stay hydrated.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Swimmers sweat, too. Like during any athletic activity, when you swim, your body temperature rises and your body sweats to keep from overheating. You may not notice because you are in the water, but you can become dehydrated.

Beach Safety Smarts
Question 20 of 20 Correct

True or false: You should avoid drinking alcohol while you're at the beach.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Because alcohol impairs your cognitive abilities, avoid drinking it while at the beach. The sun's rays may make you thirsty and dehydrated, but use water or a sports drink to rehydrate, instead of liquor or beer.

Beach Safety Smarts
Congratulations!

You got out of 20 correct. You're a health wiz!

Beach Safety Smarts
Good try!

You got out of 20 correct. Learn more about First Aid, Safety & Preparedness to improve your score.

Beach Safety Smarts
Better luck next time!

You got out of 20 correct. Learn more about First Aid, Safety & Preparedness to improve your score.