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Beaches often place signs out to instruct swimmers and guests of the current conditions at the beach. For example, a beach may have a sign explaining that there is a lot of seaweed recently, that the tides are higher, the riptide is stronger than usual, or that there have been shark sightings. It's good to take a look at these signs so you are aware of the conditions of the water at the beach and so that you can follow the rules set. Another good reason to read the signs is they may share information about where it is safe to swim in the water.

Before visiting a beach, it may be good to look up the location on the internet.

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Many beaches, especially if they are public, will post warnings or give information on their website about the current condition of their beach and the water. Know what the flags mean at a beach. In addition to reading the beach signs, it's good to be familiar with what certain flags mean. Not all beaches have these flags, but some will use them to alert visitors of current conditions.

2. Sighting behind you

Some of the flags you might see are: [10] Red and yellow flags: This means that the lifeguards are patrolling the areas that the flags have marked. These are usually the safest areas to swim in at a beach. Red flags: This means danger. Don't enter water when this flag is flying, or ask a lifeguard or worker if it is safe to swim. Black and white checkered flags: The area is safe for watercraft like kayaking or surfing. It's usually not safe to swim or use body boards in the areas this flag has marked.

Orange windsocks: There are dangerous wind conditions. You can usually swim in these conditions if you are a strong swimmer, but avoid using a floaty as you can get swept out with the current. Check for lifeguards. If you are an adult and feel confident in your swimming skills, you probably don't need a lifeguard at your beach. However, if you are taking a child to the beach or feel safer with someone watching you, it could be good to swim near a lifeguard or at a beach where lifeguards regularly work.

That way if something happens, you know someone is there to take care of it.