Umbrella safety may not sound like a serious topic to everyone, but the fact is that many beach umbrellas are heavy, sharp and/or dangerous. Case in point: “A woman in Maryland was impaled in her chest by a flying beach umbrella on Sunday, just a few days after part of another umbrella pierced a woman’s ankle in New Jersey,” as reported in this ABC News story.
If you plan to use an umbrella at the beach this summer (or anytime), take note of the four tips provided in that story:
- Use common sense when choosing an umbrella: On windy days, it’s best not to use an umbrella on the beach at all, but if you really must, it’s important that you choose the right kind, according to Jessica Waters, the communications manager of Ocean City, Maryland, where the woman was impaled by an umbrella Sunday.
- Bury the umbrella in at least 16 inches beneath the sand: To prevent gusts of wind from turning your umbrella into a projectile, make sure its base is dug down at least 16 inches into the sand, Captain Julio Rodriguez, Santa Monica beach Ocean Life Guard told ABC News.
- Tilt the umbrella into the wind: There’s a wrong direction and a right direction to angle your beach umbrella, Waters said.
- Keep the beach stand operator informed: If you’re renting an umbrella, don’t just leave it behind when it’s time to go home, Waters said.
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