Saturday, June 23, 2007

Holes in Beach Sand Deadlier than Sharks

In a recent article in USA Today, an important perspective was given on the relative dangers we face at the beach. We and our children play with abandon in the sand, but recoil in fear at the mere cry of "shark!"

Dr. Barry Maron, a Minnesota cardiologist and former lifeguard has been doing research on the deadly incidents of sand holes caving in on children and burying them alive. He began this research after witnessing such an event at the beach.

Just last week I was at Siesta Beach helping to film a beach safety video for a local multi-media company. While I was taking a break, sitting under the shade of the lifeguard tower, the camera crew went over to take some video of some teenagers burying themselves in the sand. This doesn't appear nearly as dangerous as digging a hole, since there is nothing to "collapse," but it highlighted the propensity of kids to dig in the sand for fun.

According to Maron, between 1990 and 2006 there were 16 deaths from sand holes or tunnels caving in, while during the same period there were only 12 deaths from shark attacks. These numbers represent deaths in the U.S.

The article is worth a read. Definitely read it if you have kids that play at the beach. Actually there are quite a few "cave-in" type deaths all over the country. So all children should be aware of the danger of playing in or around holes deeper than their waist.

Even more common is someone tripping in a hole dug by kids building sandcastles. Lots of people walk or run on the beach at night when they cannot see the holes. (I've seen it happen and it isn't pretty.)

So, parents, make sure your little beach munchkins cover up their holes at the end of the day. And for the rest of us, watch where you step!


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Xanax said...

oqQTXs Very good blog! Thanks!

9:27 AM  

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