When you’re looking forward to soaking up the sun’s rays and swimming in the sea on your summer holiday, injuries and accidents are often the furthest things from your thoughts. However, it is worth bearing in mind that many British holidaymakers are injured at the beach every year.
The sea, rock pools and cliffs are frequently the cause of slips, trips and falls, while unfamiliar safety standards in foreign countries can lead to holiday-related accidents.
To make sure an injury or accident doesn’t ruin your time away, follow our top tips.
Be vigilant when swimming in the sea
Check if the sea is suitable for swimming before taking a dip by looking at local warning signs and beach flags. Remember, the red flag alerts you to danger, yellow flags signal you should take caution and green advises the sea is safe for swimming. Currents can be deceivingly strong so avoid swimming in the sea at night or when there isn’t a lifeguard present.
Stay close to friends and family
Stay safe on your beach holiday by keeping close to family and friends. If you must go in the sea alone, make sure your group know you are going in and keep an eye out for you and stay within sight of them, in case of an emergency or accident.
Leave valuables in a safe place
Avoid having your valuables stolen by keeping them in a safe place. Passports, wallets, jewellery and other valuables can usually be stored securely at your hotel or hostel in a safe or a locker. If you need to take valuables to the beach with you, make sure you keep them within eyesight and never leave your bags unattended.
Take care when participating in water sports
Water sports are a common cause of injuries on beach holidays. If you’re hoping to surf, Jet Ski or snorkel, put your safety first and do some online research beforehand – check out the operator’s credentials and reviews to confirm they are a trusted and reliable company. Try to do activities in pairs with someone you know and if any equipment provided looks or feels as though it’s not fit for purpose, let your guide know. Don’t feel pressured to do the activity if you don’t think the conditions are safe, even if you paid money to do it.
Check the weather
Another tip for staying safe on your holiday is to check the weather report before going to the beach. The beach is a prime place for heatstroke and sunburn in good weather, and it can quickly become dangerous in bad weather conditions as the sea can become rough. If a storm rolls in, get away from the shoreline and seek shelter indoors before lightning strikes. Never swim in a storm – it can be deadly.
Investigate the hotel
Health and safety can vary in different countries. Unfamiliar places and a language barrier can make it harder to communicate, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with local safety standards ahead of your trip to avoid any accidents. It’s also worth finding out where your nearest safety equipment is stored in case you or someone close by falls ill or has an accident.
Thompsons Solicitors is an expert in running and winning personal injury claims and has a specialist unit dedicated to pursuing claims for those who have accidents abroad (whether on holiday or on work). If you or a family member has been injured on holiday, either in the UK or abroad, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information on making a holiday accident claim, contact our expert solicitors on 0800 0 224 224 or visit our website.