10 Tips To Keep Your Children Safe at the Beach
When you take your kids to the beach it’s important to follow certain safety guidelines. The ocean presents many risks to young swimmers and parents need to be vigilant. The following are 10 tips that will help ensure your children’s safety the next time you enjoy a day at the beach.
A day at the beach can be a healthy, fun-filled experience for the family. However, there are also quite a few dangers that parents need to be aware of. Fortunately, you can prevent most mishaps with a little planning. Here are 10 tips to help keep your children safe at the beach.
1. Research Weather and Ocean Conditions
Always check the weather report before heading to the beach. Just because it looks sunny out now doesn’t mean a storm isn’t on the way. Some public beaches post information online about daily conditions. If you forget to check ahead, many beaches have a flag system that wars you of danger. Learn what the different color flags mean and pay attention.
2. Keep Children in Sight
The most important safety tip is one that’s fairly obvious but still easy to forget. The beach is a wide open space where kids can easily run off. It’s essential that you have young children within sight at all times. To put things into perspective, it only takes about 20 seconds for a child to drown. At least one adult should be actively watching your kids every moment. To ensure there are no gaps in supervision, it’s best to have at least two adults along. If this isn’t possible, make sure the lifeguard or another trusted person watches a child if you have to turn your gaze away for any reason.
3. Teach Kids How to Swim
Kids who go anywhere near water, whether a pool, a lake, or the ocean, should have at least basic swimming skills. Unless you’re an expert swimmer yourself, it’s best to get actual swimming lessons for your kids. This is one of the best ways to prevent drowning. Learning how to swim also gives kids a chance to enjoy the water more. Of course, even kids who know how to swim need to be supervised.
4. Put Life Vests on Young Children
Life vests are one of the best ways to protect your children in the water. Recent technology has made life vests lighter and more comfortable than the ones from years ago. It’s ultimately a judgment call to decide exactly when a child no longer needs a life vest. Some parents put them on all kids under age five. You also have to consider the child’s personality. Kids who are highly energetic and impulse need this protection even if they know how to swim. You really can’t go wrong insisting on life vests.
5. Learn About Waves and Rip Currents
Strong waves not only present a drowning risk, they can cause serious injuries. If you’re not familiar with waves, ask the lifeguard about the day’s conditions. Rip currents are another potential danger that you should be aware of. These are powerful currents that can pull swimmers from shallow water into the ocean. You can spot rip currents as discolored gaps between waves. Always be on the lookout for these dangerous currents and keep your kids (and everyone) away from them. One universal rule that both children and adults should obey is never to turn your back on the ocean. You always want to be facing waves so they don’t catch you Lin aware.
6. Provide Protection From the Sun
Aside from the water, the sun is one of the biggest sources of danger at the beach. Both adults and children need to be careful about spending too much time in direct sunlight. Most people are aware of how important it is to apply sunscreen lotion. Keep in mind that lotion needs to be re applied after getting wet.
One of the best things you can do to prevent the whole family from getting sunburnt is bringing a large umbrella for shelter. Hats are also a good idea. Kids, however, are especially prone to forget about the danger and get caught up playing. Be sure to keep an eye on them and limit their exposure.
7. Be Aware of Dangerous Wildlife
First of all, teach kids not to touch fish or animals in the sea (or crawling on the sand), no matter how fascinating they appear. Some of these animals bite or have sharp claws. While people worry about sharks, the fact is that shark attacks are fairly rare in the United States. Far more common are jellyfish bites. In Florida, one of the most troublesome creatures is the Man-of-War, a species that’s not actually a jellyfish but similar in appearance. There are usually alerts if such stinging sea creatures (or sharks) are in the area, another reason to stay current with the latest news
You can sometimes see evidence of jellyfish or Man-of-War (which are actually a collection of organisms) in the water, either living or dead. Avoid the water if you see such signs. If someone is bitten, the best immediate remedy is vinegar and to remove the tentacles with a tweezer. If a child (or adult) shows severe symptoms, he or she may be allergic. In such cases, call for medical attention immediately
8. Leave Pool Toys Home
Floating toys are fun for kids but are best suited for Swimming pools. In the ocean, they can be dangerous. These toys can give children a false sense of security. Parents, too, can mistakenly think their kids are safe while wearing floaties. Keep in mind that pool toys or floaties are not life jackets. Children can get swept away by waves while holding onto their toys. They may also try to chase them if they lose their grip on them.
9. Make Sure Children Wear Shoes
The sand gets very hot on summer days. Children can easily bum their feet if they run around barefoot. There is also the danger of foreign objects such as glass being on the ground. Even natural objects such as shells can cause injuries. It’s a good idea for everyone to wear shoes on the beach, especially kids.
10. Bring Water and Snacks
Kids often have to be reminded to drink enough water, especially if they’re having fun at the beach. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you. Avoid soft drinks and other sweetened beverages, which cause spikes and drops in energy levels. Even juice is high in natural sugars and isn’t the best thirst quencher for a long day at the beach. It’s also good to bring along some snacks or sandwiches to keep everyone from getting hungry. Adults should keep in mind that alcohol contributes to dehydration. It’s also a bad idea to drink alcohol at the beach when kids are around, as it’s likely to lower your awareness and reaction time.
These tips will help you enjoy your days at the beach with confidence. The most important point to remember is to be aware of where your children are and what they’re doing at all times.