The summer holidays are in full swing, which hopefully means lots of fun fuelled day trips to the beach with the kids. Here at Tutor Doctor we know how important beach safety is for the whole family. From sunscreen to water safety we’ve covered the 7 most important things to keep your children safe on the beach this summer.
Water safety is by far the most important thing to consider when visiting the beach. Here’s what you’ll need to be thinking about when the kids are going into the sea:
Rip currents are one of the most dangerous things about the sea and can pull out even the strongest swimmers. It’s crucial to recognise the signs of the water so you can be prepared and keep the whole family safe. Here’s what The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommend looking out for.
- A channel of churning choppy water
- Difference in the colour of water
- Lines of foam, seaweed or debris moving seaward
- A break in the incoming wave pattern
Inflatables may seem like a great idea but perhaps are best saved for the swimming pool rather than the beach. They can easily float out to sea, even if there is only a slight wind. We know that the kids might not like this idea but safety should always come before fun.
In the UK jellyfish often lurk in the shallow waters, so it’s important to look out for their clear jelly-like bodies. Symptoms of a sting include blisters, pain, tingling and itching. If you think your child has been stung remember to not rub the injured area, as it will only make the pain worse. Always contact a lifeguard or a doctor for further treatment.
It’s important that your kids are always supervised on the beach, especially when going near the water. Even though you think you have prepared them by having swimming lessons the sea can be unpredictable- so don’t let them swim alone. Waves can also be deceiving and sweep kids under in less than a second- so make sure someone always has their eyes on them.
2. Choose a beach with a lifeguard
It’s always best to choose a beach that has lifeguards present. Not only are they fully trained to watch out for hazards but will look out for your children’s safety.
3. Know your Beach flags
Beach flags are one of the most important things to look out for when spending the day at the beach, especially if there isn’t a lifeguard present. Not only should you be able to recognise them but your kids should do too.
Red Flag = No Swimming at all
Between Two Red and Yellow Flags = Safe to swim
Between Two Black and White Flags = No swimming- surfers/windsurfers only
Orange Windsock = Dangerous Wind Conditions
4. Keep Hydrated
Whilst having a fun day at the beach it’s super easy to forget to have enough to drink. Often children are so busy playing in the sand or swimming they won’t always let you know they are thirsty. So make sure you keep lots of water to hand and offer it to them often.This will prevent dehydration, which can be dangerous if left untreated.
5.Apply and re-apply sunscreen
Being sun smart is vital- especially as children have delicate skin that burns more easily than adults. Try using SPF 30+ and make sure your kids are wearing a hat and a rash t-shirt for extra protection. Apply every two hours and re-apply after the kids get out the water.
6.Make the most of the shade
On a really hot day it’s important to not be exposed to the sun for too long, especially when it’s at its hottest which is usually around 12-3pm. Try to make the most of the shade- even if the kids don’t want to. Perhaps have a long lunch or encourage some beach reading.
7. Make sure the kids wear appropriate footwear
Try and encourage the kids to wear flip-flops or sandals on the sand. Not only can it get extremely hot, but there are assorts of hidden nasties such as glass, sharp rocks and shells. You could even invest in some water shoes if your child is always in and out of the sea.
Even though it’s vital parents know about beach safety, it’s just as important that your children know about it too. Make sure you tell them about these safety points- you could even make it fun and get them to make their own poster.