Being at the beach in Hawaii is a huge part of why people are here (and why those who live here love it). But the ocean isn’t to be trifled with, especially in Hawaii, Kanaloa can be a bit capricious.
Before I go into this, let me tell you that don’t use this to get so paranoid you never go to the beach . We’ve been to Hawaiian beaches a hundred times and have yet to have a single incident, not even a close call. All you need to do is use common sense and make sure your children know what to do at the beach.
First of all, pay attention to signs (like the warning signs you see here). They weren’t put there to look pretty. Hawaiians know their beaches pretty well, if a warning sign is up, pay attention.
Second, keep a look out for creatures who aren’t too human-friendly. I’ve seen all the creatures on that list in my time here, never have any given me problems. But of course I’ve been careful not to stand on coral or urchins, not to bother the moray eels, keep a look out for jellyfish and man-o-wars (btw, I’ve only seen those rarely and even then far off), and the only time I saw a shark it was a harmless one (what I’d LOVE to see is a whale shark though).
Be mindful of the sun. Sunburns suck. They hurt and can really kind of mess up a stay. They can even be dangerous. Too much sun exposure increases risk of skin cancer. You’ve heard it all. Just use SPF 15 or above (though above 30 becomes a bit redundant). Never mind the scare about sunscreens, the skinny? There might be a minuscule risk of a
type of rare skin cancer from sunscreens, but the risk of cancer from not using sunscreen is _known_ to be magnitudes greater. I’ll let you decide, don’t use sunscreen an know your chance of skin cancer is high, or use it and maybe, might have a very low chance of skin cancer. I’ll take the latter. And if that doesn’t convince you to limit your sun exposure,
how about this?:
You might get a nice tan, but what you are trading it for is a face like this guy in the photo. Look closer and read the article. There is not a more clear picture of what sun exposure does to your aging. The guy was a truck driver, his left side exposed to the sun, his right in the shade of his truck. His right side looks 10-20 years younger (HIS right side, the left you are looking at).
Lastly, remember, drowning doesn’t look like drowning as most would think it looks like. There is no waving of arms and screaming for help. Read the link to understand what drowning really looks like.
Now, all that said, go out to the beach and have fun!! Because, with just a little common sense, you will. You’ll see amazing sea creatures, have fun swimming and enjoy the beauty.