The sun is high and the days are long. Families are planning vacations and other summer activities. For many families, summer means a trip to the beach. So, how do you plan for maximum fun while ensuring maximum safety?
As the vacation date approaches, talk about water safety with your family and talk about it often. Remind them that swimming in open water is not like swimming in a pool. Unlike standing bodies of water, oceans come with other risk factors such as currents, rip tides, and marine life. Even strong swimmers can struggle against the waves. Communicating behavioral expectations helps children to understand that going to the beach comes with additional safety concerns.
In addition to having a common understanding of family expectations, packing correctly helps to ensure that the trip runs smoothly. The family bag should be equipped with large beach towels and easily recognizable, bright colored bathing suits. A zipper seal plastic bag can help keep electronic devices such as cell phones and other valuable items safe from sand and water. Save the numbers of the hotel, local lifeguard, police station, and other emergency contacts to your cell phone so they are easily accessible. You can also keep individual color photos of your kids wearing their bathing suits in the plastic bag. Photos like these can help to help identify children if they are separated from the family.
Upon arrival, set up a “home base” for your family on the beach. It is important to be located near the lifeguard station. Along with other noticeable landmarks, that will help everyone find the home base after playing in the waves. Remain within approximately ten feet of children at all times and tell them to stay in shallow water. Knee deep or shallower is safest. Finally, don’t forget to wear sunscreen and reapply often! With all the right preparations, a family trip to the beach can be a wonderful and safe experience. Check out our Beach Safety download to learn more.