Summer is here! Don’t let the “June gloom” and COVID-19 keep you from getting out and enjoying the fabulous waterfronts in your own backyard. Whether you’re riding a bike along the Long Beach Waterfront, catching some waves at Surf City USA, or lounging around on Alamitos Beach, you’ll be glad you stepped outside for some fresh air. Before you grab your towel and flipflops, here are three tips to help you stay safe and healthy at the beach.

1. Remember to Social Distance

It’s easy to forget the pandemic when you’re outdoors in the fresh air. Enjoy the moment of peace! However, be sure to keep a safe social distance from others. Current guidelines describe a safe social distance as a minimum of six feet from others. For now, the state asks that we limit groups to individuals and households only.

2. Wear Sunscreen

Even in overcast weather, it’s important to make wearing sunscreen a part of your daily routine. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everybody wear a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher when they plan to spend a day outdoors. Doing so will help reduce your risk of skin damage and, more seriously, skin cancer. To maximize effectiveness, apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before you head outdoors, and then reapply every two hours. If you’re planning on taking a swim, be sure to select a sunscreen that is waterproof.

3. Check the Water Conditions

Before jumping into the water, check online for the most up-to-date information regarding water quality, beach closures, etc. When at the beach, be aware of any signs indicating dangerous water conditions and/or if there is a lifeguard on duty. Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear lifejackets for their own safety.

Human beings have always been drawn to the sea. As the artist Robert Wyland once said, “The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” Spending time at the beach can be a much-needed respite from the rigor of daily life. These types of breaks are even more important to our mental health during times of crisis. Social distancing, wearing your sunscreen, and checking the water conditions beforehand can go a long way to ensuring your time near the water is truly a “day at the beach.”