Beach Safety Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
1 min
Beach Safety Quiz
Image: Walter Bibikow/The Image Bank/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Do you know the dangers lurking at the beach? Test your knowledge of beach trivia and common beach hazards that, if avoided, can make or break your beach vacation.
Falling vending machines kill this many people at the beach in a typical year:
1
13
The correct answer is 13. That's three more people than are killed by sharks in a typical year.
252

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Last year, the number of kids reported missing at the beach was:
55
421
1,533
The correct answer is 1,533. Walking away -- not drowning -- is by far the most common reason for these reports by frantic parents. "Prudent parenting" requires you to sit near a numbered lifeguard station or other beach landmark and make sure your child knows where you are.

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In water that is 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), a person is likely to survive for:
2.5 to 3 hours
Survival time in 50-degree Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) water is about three hours. Swimmers can survive longer or shorter, depending on their body fat percentage and any protective clothing, as well as the position they take in the water.
6.5 to 10 hours
24 hours

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The state with the most shark attacks each year is:
California
Hawaii
Florida
Most attacks happen on Florida's eastern coast.

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A group of jellyfish is called a:
smack
Jellyfish swim in a smack, and whales swim in a pod and herring in a siege.
jab
glob

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The proportion of beachgoers that can't swim is:
1 out of 3
One out of three beachgoers can't swim. Children who are not taught to swim when they are very young tend to avoid swim instruction as they get older, probably due to embarrassment.
1 out of 10
1 out of 50

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It takes a child this long to drown, on average:
20 seconds
It only takes 20 seconds for a child to drown. An adult should be on constant watch when children are swimming, playing or bathing in the water.
1 minute
10 minutes

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It takes an adult this long to drown, on average:
20 seconds
1 minute
It takes about one minute for an adult to drown. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol is involved in as many as one-half of water-recreation deaths among adults and adolescents.
10 minutes

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The number of pollution-related closings and advisories in the United States in 1999 was:
115
1,040
6,160
The correct answer: 6,160 beaches were closed or had pollution advisories in 1999. The sources of pollution that pose a risk to swimmers exist to some extent in every beach state, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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During heavy exercise in hot weather, you should drink at least this many cool beverages each hour:
1 to 2 cups
2 to 4 cups
Two to four cups every hour is ideal. Avoid very cold beverages, though, because they can cause stomach cramps, and alcohol because it will actually deplete your body fluids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
8 cups

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A white cotton shirt will protect you better from the sun than an SPF 15 suntan lotion.
True
False
A white cotton shirt is like an SPF 7 lotion -- not protective enough.

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Females drown more often than males.
True
False
Males account for about 80 percent of drownings.

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If there's no warning sign or flag posted, then it's safe to swim.
True
False
You can't assume that it's safe to swim. Some beaches don't consistently post signs, particularly where no lifeguard is stationed, and dangerous water conditions can rise quickly and unexpectedly.

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If you can't swim, it's a good idea to rely on a flotation device such as an inflatable raft.
True
False
Only a Coast Guard-approved life jacket can help ensure a nonswimmer's ocean safety.

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The sun's ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer cannot pass through a car window.
True
False
Type-A ultraviolet rays, while they don't tan the skin, can pass through a window and contribute to cancer and premature wrinkles.

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Most shark attacks are deadly.
True
False
About 10 out of 75 shark attacks in a typical year prove fatal.

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If a thunderstorm is approaching, it's smart to get out of the water and wait out the storm on the beach.
True
False
While it's true that you should get out of the water right away, seek shelter in a building or a car rather than on the beach where you are the highest object on the horizon -- and a sitting duck for lightning.

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Sharks get cancer.
True
Contrary to popular conception, sharks do get some kinds of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
False

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It's unsafe to swim between two red flags.
True
As with traffic signals, red means "stop." Green flags signal that it's safe to swim.
False

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Like people, sharks have five senses.
True
False
Sharks have a sixth sense — electrosensory perception -- which allows them to perceive electric fields.

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You Got:
/20
Walter Bibikow/The Image Bank/Getty Images
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