When we think of the beach we usually think about relaxing under the sun, participating in water sports, swimming in the ocean and playing in the sand.

Yes, it all sounds great-- and it usually is-- but in some cases these things may actually harm you, or worse.

Overexposure to the sun can lead to heatstroke and sunburn, surfing deep in the ocean may put you at risk for a shark attack, and playing with the kids by the ocean shore may result in a jellyfish sting.

Did you know that simply digging holes in the sand can be deadly? A report from ABC news revealed that digging holes in the sand – even shallow ones can collapse and kill you. They explain, “researchers found 52 cases of sand-hole collapses in the United States and three other countries – Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand. Sixty percent of the victims – 31 people – died, while many of the others needed rescuing and CPR.”

1) The heat.

The sun is extremely powerful. It sends off intense heat and when your body is unable to handle it, overheating and heat stroke may occur. Heat stoke is a life-threatening emergency. It has the ability to cause rapid pulse, possible loss of consciousness, confusion and rapid, shallow breathing.

2) Shark attacks.

With over 400 known species of sharks living in our oceans today, it’s no wonder we, humans, find ourselves swimming in fear. According to National Geographic, “each year there are about 50 to 70 confirmed shark attacks and 5 to 15 shark-attack fatalities around the world. The numbers have risen over the past several decades but not because sharks are more aggressive: Humans have simply taken to coastal waters in increasing numbers.”


Jellyfish may look harmless but one sting may have you staying away from the ocean for awhile. (iStock)

3) Jellyfish.

As the temperature gets warmer, jellyfish are found closer to the shore. Therefore, the warmer the ocean, the higher the possibility of encountering a jellyfish. A jellyfish sting can cause headaches, vomiting, muscle spasms, an allergic reaction, chills, fever and difficulty breathing.

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4) Rip currents.

Rip currents are caused when waves break near the shoreline. They have been known to cause deaths due to drowning. According to research, “drowning deaths occur when people pulled offshore are unable to keep themselves afloat and swim to shore. This may be due to any combination of fear, panic, exhaustion or lack of swimming skills.”

5) Sunburn.

Lying in the sun is extremely relaxing, but too much sun is hazardous. When you feel your skin heating up and you start seeing redness occur make sure you put on some extra sunblock or completely remove yourself from the sun. Exposure to too much sun can lead to sun poisoning. This can lead  to sun poisoning. This can lead to dehydration, dizziness, chills, fever and pain; all of which may require immediate hospitalization.

Still anxious about going to the beach? Keep reading to find out 10 more ways the beach can kill you