Beach safety for your family
Holidays are coming and the beach vacation sounds like a lot of fun and relaxing. We sadly every year read about tragic accidents where children drown due to a strong current or imprudence of parents. We think, this can never happen to our family, right?
The reason of this heart-breaking problem is, that people tend to become more careless while relaxing on the beach and they forget to seriously think about the beach safety of their children.
To minimize this risk, we want to give you several tips on how to take care of your children in an easy manner.
Explain your children the dangerous situation at the beach
Children, as adults too, do sometimes not care about rules when they don’t understand the sense of it. Explain your children why the ocean is dangerous and what can happen (not that they die but that e.g. they could get hurt). Talk in advance about the behaviour you expect from them and which limitations you have. And keep a constant eye on them. Emergencies happen in the blink of an eye.
Do not hesitate to have a talk with the lifeguards
We all see them during our vacation. Young lifeguards where we sometimes might be suspicious if they aren’t too young for this important and difficult job. But these lifeguards often have been swimming in exactly this ocean since they are able to walk. Being lifeguard is not only about education and ability to swim, it’s more about experience and the understanding of the currents and the situation on the beach. So do not hesitate to ask a lifeguard for information about currents and other dangerous places on the beach and the general beach safety there. They are happy to assist before an emergency occurs.
A lifeguard is not the same as your babysitter at home…
When a beach has its own lifeguard, it doesn’t mean that you can just relax and do not have to watch them. Maybe you know this kind of overcrowded beaches, right? Then you also know that one lifeguard has to look for several hundred people swimming and playing in the water. So the lifeguard is NOT a babysitter for your child and not a guarantee that nothing bad can happen. Be aware of your personal responsibility. Beach safety is the responsibility of parents.
Further, it’s not only the ocean which is dangerous. It’s also scary when your child just walks away on the beach because he/she sees something interesting. Because when you’ll lose them on the beach, you do not know if they went into the water, far away, or they are just playing and building castles in the sand.
Sun protection is something enormously important. Your child’s skin is more vulnerable than your own skin. As this topic is huge and needs deeper explanation, read our blog only about sun protection. Just click right here.
The quote “silent waters run deep” fits well here. Even when your beach might not have big waves, the rip currents are the most forgotten danger on the beach. Do you remember this feeling when you got caught of a rip current yourself? And how difficult it was to leave this current?
Now imagine what happens with children, which do not realize or realize too late the danger of this currents.
Rip currents are fast moving, narrow channels that are most powerful at the surface of the water where the waves break on shore and they sweep out to the sea. If this happens, do not panic, simply swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current and then swim back in to land. Educate your children on rip currents and when you visit the beach, ask the lifeguard where they are most prevalent in the area. Read more on NOAA.
Recognize if somebody is drowning
It sounds like a joke. But in fact, most people drowning do not yell help. Mostly it happens while playing or in overcrowded areas. So stand up while watching your children and watch them carefully.
We wish you a sunny & fun beach vacation. Be safe.
Ben & Emma