Health Tip: Avoiding Rip Tides
(HealthDay News) -- If you swim in the ocean, you should be aware of dangerous rip tides, sometimes called rip currents.
Most often, these fast-moving flows of water form at low spots, breaks in sandbars or near structures such as piers, experts at Texas A&M University say. Rip tides are notorious for pulling even the strongest swimmers under the water and away from shore.
The experts say rip tides account for at least 100 deaths a year in the United States, making them far more dangerous than sharks.
They offer these suggestions for avoiding rip tides:
Before you leave for the beach, check the local forecast to see if rip tides are predicted.
Swim only at beaches with lifeguards.
Pay attention to any warnings posted on the beach, such as red flags.
Don't drink alcohol, a leading factor in drowning cases.