Staying Safe At The Beach

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beach-bucketWe live close to the beach and spend a great deal of time there.  The beach can be a relaxing place, but it can also be a dangerous place too.  Here are some tips to help keep your children safe during your beach trip.

It’s tempting to spend your time snoozing in the sun or reading the latest thriller.  When you are at the beach with young children, those things are just not safe or practical.  An article in our local paper discussed the great number of “lost” children that end up wandering away from their parents and wind up at the lifeguard station waiting until a parent or guardian claims them.  If the children are “un-claimed” for a certain amount of time, the lifeguards do have to call the police and report the incident.  This surely would dampen any beach trip.

Make sure to use lots of sunscreen!  If your children are in and out of the water, sunscreen can get washed off easily.  Be sure to re-apply sunscreen frequently.  I buy special sunscreen for faces and use lip balm that has a sunblock in it for maximum protection as my children are very fair skinned.  If you have young children, or children that are very fair skinned, you can also reduce the risk of sun burn by having them wear a t-shirt over their swim suit.  A hat can further reduce the risk of sunburn.  Many stores sell “swim shirts”  which are made of swimsuit material. I’ve gotten my children shirts that match their swimsuits.  This has made them more likely to wear the shirts and reduces the risk of sunburn.

Before going to the beach, check to see if there are any rip currents in the area or choppy water.  If so, you may want to re-schedule your trip or stay close to the shore.  If you do get caught in a rip current, it’s best to go with the flow.  Many swimmers drown simply because they get tired from fighting the current.  Let the current carry you and then swim out of the current by swimming parallel to the shore.

If possible, go to a beach where there are lifeguards on duty.  Many beaches do not have lifeguards on duty.  In our area, there have been cutbacks on lifeguard staffing at beaches.  Their hours have also been cut too due to budget restrictions.  Therefore, you may want to double check before heading to the beach.

With a little preparation, and some caution, you can have a wonderful and safe trip to the beach!

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