With tragedies happening on a regular basis the following is just a reminder to be careful while enjoying our beaches.
Fun in the sun and fun in the water are a perfect combination on a hot day, but you need to watch your kids at the beach, at the pool, in a water park, in fact anywhere where there is water. Safety needs to be put first, especially where kids are involved.
The following tips will ensure everyone has a wonderful time and comes home safely at the end of the day.
Children should never be left unsupervised in the water. It only takes seconds and just a few inches of water for an accident to happen. There are obviously going to be times that you cannot watch the kids. You might have to go to the bathroom so assign a guardian, to watch them in your absence. Tell them “You are in charge until I come back”. Make this someone specific, as you can’t assume that someone is going to naturally take over.
Make the lifeguard your friend – when it comes to the ocean, their knowledge is next to none. In one summer, these guys will spend more time on the beach than most people will in their entire lives. You should respect what they tell you and ask for help if you have a problem.
Teach your children to swim as soon as possible. Until they can, they should always wear a swimming vest. Other type of inflatables, are not always safe. Never ever, let your child take an inflatable mattress or other inflatables toys, into the water without supervision as currents can quickly take them offshore.
Fun in the sun means plenty of protection. Apply sunscreen early, as it needs about 15 to 20 minutes to absorb into the skin. While the label may say “waterproof,” no sunscreen is truly waterproof, and should be reapplied after swimming or every two hours. Also protect with a hat, light clothing, and lip balm.
Keep hydrated, it is easy to forget to have enough to drink. Often children are so busy having fun they may not let you know they are thirsty. Make sure you keep lots of water to hand and offer it to them often.
The beach should be a safe play area but children can get disoriented and get lost. A good idea is for them to wear an identification bracelet or to write your phone number on their skin or a garment that the child is wearing
Children playing in the water make noise. When they are quiet, you get to them quickly to find out why.
Know your swimming limitations if you think the water might be too rough for you, then err on the side of caution. Don’t put yourself or your kids into a dangerous situation and keep well away from areas that are known to have an undertow.
What is an undertow? Every day, some 6,000 waves break on any given beach. They push water up the beach and gravity pulls it back down, as backwash. When big waves break on the beach, a large uprush and backwash of water and sand are generated. Beachgoers feel like they are being sucked underwater when the wave breaks over their head – this is undertow. Swimmers will be tumbled around roughly. It is typically dangerous for children who can’t walk up the beach against the strong flow.
Recognize when someone is in trouble – tell your child if they see anyone in trouble do not try to help but to alert you or call 112.
Enjoy the beach this summer but please take care.