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Mālama Ola Minute is a series brought to you by the Kamehameha Schools Mālama Ola Division to increase awareness, promote discussion, and offer tools to improve the physical and mental health of our haumāna.

Ocean safety tips for a fun and safe summer at the beach

July 12, 2023

As we embrace the summer season in Hawaiʻi, many of our families will be enjoying the beautiful kai that surround us. Here are a few important information and tips on ocean safety. By increasing awareness and promoting discussions at home, we hope to ensure that everyone can make the most of their beach outings while staying safe.

1. Water Safety Tips:

  • Always swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Pay attention to and respect warning signs and flags posted at the beach.
  • Be mindful of ocean conditions, such as currents and tides, before entering the water.
  • Avoid climbing onto wet rocks, ledges, cliffs near the shoreline. These areas can become slippery or you can be swept into the ocean during high surf.
  • Swim with a buddy or in groups, and never swim alone.
  • Keep a close eye on children at all times and ensure they wear appropriate flotation devices if needed.
  • If caught in a rip current, remember to stay calm, swim parallel to the shore, and signal for help.

2. Sun Safety Tips:

  • Apply and regularly reapply reef safe sunscreen with active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide with SPF 30 or higher, even on cloudy days.
  • Seek shade during the peak hours of sun intensity, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear sun protective clothing, such as hats, sunglasses, and lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially when spending extended periods under the sun.

3. Marine Life Safety Tips:

  • Respect and appreciate the wildlife and their habitats from a safe distance.
  • Avoid touching or stepping on coral reefs, as they are fragile and easily damaged.
  • If stung by a jellyfish or a Portuguese man o' war, rinse the affected area with saltwater and seek medical attention if necessary.
  • Be aware of any potential hazards like sharp rocks, sea urchins, or sea creatures in the water or along the shore.

Learn more

HI Ocean Safety – Respect our ocean and stay beach safe!

Hawaiʻi State Department of Health - Clean Water Branch – Ongoing water quality advisories

National Weather Service NOAA Hawaiian Coastal Waters Forecast

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