10 beach safety tips to keep your children safe this summer
27 October 2016
Summer is coming and for South Australians that means fun-filled
family days at the beach and soaking up all that sun, sand and
salty sea air goodness.
For parents, this often means planning and packing in advance.
Lots of SPF 50+ sunscreen, snacks, buckets and spades, towels,
hats, umbrellas, chairs, water and of course that new Matchbox car
that just has to go everywhere with the youngest child. It's a long
list to remember!
But there's one thing more important to remember than all of
these… and that's water safety strategies for you and your
So, before you hit the beach this summer, brush up on some
safety rules to make sure your family day at the beach is a safe
Slip, slop, slap, seek and slide:
The little jingle never gets old! Avoid sunburn by Slipping on a
shirt, Slopping on some SPF 50+ sunscreen, Slapping on a hat,
Seeking shade particularly during the hottest part of the day, and
Sliding on some sunglasses.
Swim between the flags:
Patrolled beaches are the safest option for families hitting the
coast this summer. Always swim between the flags and adhere to
directions by the lifeguards on duty.
Swim with a buddy:
Children should never be left to swim or play in the ocean
alone. Encourage them to swim with a buddy and watch out for each
other when they're swimming or playing along the water's edge.
(Remember: a responsible adult must always be nearby as well).
Know the conditions:
Check the weather and wind conditions before you jump in the
car. Make sure the water is calm enough for safe family play.
Understand what to do in a rip:
Children and adults should know what to do if they become caught
in a rip. Don't fight the current, swim parallel to the shore until
you're out of the rip and then head back in to shore.
Avoid floating toys:
Floating toys can be fun in the pool but they aren't a good idea
at the beach where you could be dumped by waves and carried out
further than you are able to swim back. Boogie boards are a good
Learn how to swim and know your limitations:
Children learn a lot about water safety and their own confidence
in the water through swimming lessons at their local pool or beach.
If you're not a confident swimmer yourself, it's a good idea to
take lessons too! Click here to find
out more about VACSWIM classes for children.
It's easy for kids to become so caught up in their splashing,
sandcastles and play that they forget to reapply sunscreen. The
Cancer Council recommends you reapply sunscreen every two hours,
and after swimming. An SPF 50 is the best form of sunscreen on the
market, but if you can't get your hands on that, try an SPF 30.
It's easy to forget to replenish with a drink of H2O
when you're splashing in the waves and building sandcastles. Bring
plenty of water and fruit (we suggest freezing grapes or watermelon
beforehand) to avoid dehydration for the whole family.
Responsible adult on watch:
A child can drown in a very small level of water in the space of
just two seconds. So it is vital that an adult is on-watch - or
ankle deep right behind the children - at all times. If you need to
go to the bathroom or leave your watch spot for any reason, hand
the baton to another adult from your group, or pull the children
out of the water for a little while (it will do them good to
reapply some sunscreen and have a drink of water anyway!).
We're spoilt for choice in South Australia for some of the best
beaches for family holidays, day trips or just a day out. But
making sure you and your family are water safe at whichever beach
you visit this summer is the best choice of all.