Umbrellas are a beach day staple. They provide functional shade and their fun colors and designs make us nostalgic for summers past. However umbrellas do have a dark side and some New Jersey beaches are trying to address that.

According to, umbrella related injuries are not all that uncommon. Last summer, a visitor of Seaside Heights was impaled in the leg by one. also notes in 2016, a beachgoer at Virginia Beach died after being struck by an umbrella and going into cardiac arrest. notes that the Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that 2,800 people have had to get medical help for beach umbrella injuries from 2010 to 2018. The study was conducted after U.S. Senator Bob Menendez urged the commission to increase awareness about the issue back in May.

Manasquan Chief Lifeguard Doug Anderson gave some insight about umbrella dangers at a press conference called to increase awareness of the issue. He noted that most of the time umbrellas don’t pose a problem, but safety concerns arise when the weather gets windy.

Anderson notes that there are a few things that can be done to make for safer beach days. As a lifeguard of 30 years, he has seen his fare share of flying umbrellas. says that he recommends umbrellas that screw into the ground and those that can be weighed down are your safest bet. However, if you find yourself reading this while already on vacay, there is a way to make the average umbrella safer. When inserting the umbrella into the ground, tilt it back and forth to get it as deep as possible in the sand.

No one wants to get hurt while enjoying a leisurely day at the shore. Bob Menedez said it best, “The only things that should be flying through air on a sunny day at the beach should be seagulls and Frisbees — not spear-tipped beach umbrellas that have the potential to claim lives.”

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