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Beach Safety Tips
Sun, sand and lots of fun. There’s nothing better than a family day out at the beach. It’s likely that those sunny days on the beach will make up some of the best memories of childhood. Building sandcastles, splashing in the sea and enjoying the freedom of the beach. Whenever kids are near water, though, you must take precautions. So, here are our top 10 beach safety tips for safe days with the kids on the beach.
1. Kids Swimming Need Adult Supervision
Young children should not be allowed to swim or play in the sea alone. They should always have an adult supervising them. Although the water may be shallow near the shore, it may get deeper a few yards out. Even older kids should not go swimming alone. It is better if they always swim with a sibling or friend. Even then, an adult should be keeping an eye on them.
2. Don’t Allow Kids in the Sea with Floating Toys
Floating toys and dinghies can be dangerous in the sea. One gust of wind could sweep an inflatable toy out to sea. Yes, we know that floating toys are great fun. But if kids drift too far offshore, they may not be able to swim back again.
3. Children Who Can’t Swim Should Wear Life Jackets
Young children should wear life jackets when they are playing in the sea. Even if they promise to only go in up to their knees. Kids could get knocked over by the waves or they could trip over. If they do, a good life jacket will keep their heads above water. The best life jackets for kids are Puddle Jumpers. They are US coast guard approved, and they give children the freedom to run around and play.
4. Obey Lifeguards and Beach Warning Flags
Always swim between the safety flags and obey the instructions of lifeguards. Keep an eye on the colors of beach safety flags too. The different colors of the flags will warn you of any danger. Green flags mean that is safe to swim. Yellow means caution. Red means that it is not safe for kids to swim. Double red flags mean that the beach is not open to the public. Remember that conditions may change during the day. So, check the flags every time before you let your kids in the water.
5. Stay Hydrated and Slap on Sunscreen
You all know about the dangers of dehydration, heat stroke, and sunburn. But have you taken any notice of the warnings? It is especially important that children are protected in the sun. Kids are more susceptible to sunburn, and they are more likely to get dehydrated. So, slap on the highest SPF sunscreen, and keep it topped up. And, make sure that children get plenty of water to drink when they are on the beach.
6. Teach Kids to Understand Their Swimming Limitations
When children get excited, they take risks. It is important that children understand that the sea is fun, but it can be dangerous. Children must learn not to go in too deep or swim too far out if they are not strong swimmers. The sea isn’t the same as a swimming pool. There are currents, waves, and sometimes the seabed is uneven. It can be dangerous for anyone if they overstretch themselves in the sea.
7. Swim in the Safe Areas
When you have kids with you, it is always best to swim where there is a lifeguard present. You should also look for the safest areas on the beach to swim. Swimming in a deserted cove might sound like it would be a wonderful experience. But it’s not a good idea if you have children with you.
8. Know What to Do in a Rip
A rip current is a current that is moving away from the shore. If you get caught in one, it can take you out to sea. The worst thing to do if you caught in a rip is to try to swim against that current. If you do, you will tire yourself out, but get nowhere. What you should do is swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Then, you can swim back to shore.
9. Make Sure Your Children Can Find You on the Beach
Kids often get lost on busy beaches, so make sure that your spot on the beach is easy to find. The best spot if you have kids is near the lifeguard tower. That’s good for safety, and the tower will provide a visible landmark. Buy a beach umbrella with a distinctive design. That too will help kids spot where you are in the crowd.
10. Make Sure Kids Know the Rules
Remember to make sure that your kids know the rules of the beach. Sit them down and give them a briefing before they go running off to play. Tell them if they get lost or they need help and they can’t find you; they should go straight to a lifeguard.
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