If you’ve taken your kids to the beach, you know how nerve-wracking it can be for you. Not only are you constantly keeping an eye on your children, you’re also busy making sure that your kids stay cool and safe. These beach safety tips for kids will help you keep your kids safe and having fun any time you decide to brave the beach!
The “Knee” Rule
If you want to keep your kids safe on the beach, you might want to come up with a knee rule or something similar. This rule basically lets your kids know how far they can go in the water. If you’re visiting the ocean or a larger lake, you might want to tell your kids that they can only go in up to their knees. If the water is calmer or if you have older kids who are strong swimmers, you can always let them go in up to their belly buttons. Have your young children (or poor swimmers) wear approved lifejackets or PFDs in and the around water regardless of depth. No matter the strength or experience of your little swimmers, they should be swimming with someone else at all times.
Educate your children about Undertow
Undertow (or riptides) is a current that pulls water from the beach out to the lake or sea. It can be dangerous in that it is capable of ripping you off your feet and pulling you out and away from the beach. Educate your children that if they get stuck in one that they need not panic and should focus on swimming with the current and attempt to swim parallel to the beach until they are free of it and able to turn back towards the beach.
Slather It On
We all know how hot it can get on the beach. This can be bad news for your children’s skin. In order to keep them safe on the beach, you’ll need to slather on that sunblock. Make sure you buy a sunblock that has at least 30 SPF and is also waterproof so that it protects your kids even while they’re swimming. Every hour, slather on more sunblock so that your kids have constant coverage.
Water, Water, Water
Any trip to the beach requires a lot of water, and not just the water that you swim in! Before heading to the beach, be sure to pack plenty of water bottles so that you and your kids can stay hydrated in the heat. Even if your kids are playing and don’t think that they’re thirsty, make them take a few sips of water on a regular basis. This will help keep them from getting heat sickness or from suddenly feeling dehydrated.
Most likely, it’s pretty warm outside if you’re heading to the beach. Because of this, it’s easy for your kids to get overheated. To help protect your kids from overheating, bring a beach tent or umbrella to create a shady spot that your kids can use to rest and cool off.
Avoid Sand Holes
Digging holes at the beach is actually one the biggest (and probably unknown) danger to both adults and children. More people die each year at the beach from sand holes collapsing on them than from getting bit by sharks. Fill in any holes you find when you arrive at the beach and advise your children not to dig a hole any deeper than their knees. Be sure to fill in even any small holes your family digs before leaving.
Pay Close Attention to Your Children
This should go without saying, but you need to be vigilant at all times, whether your child is playing in the sand or wading out into the water. It only takes seconds for things to go wrong. Take shifts with another adult if you still want to get in some relaxation time, but be sure there is someone capable watching your children at all times, even if there is a lifeguard on duty.
Going to the beach is a fun trip that everyone in the family will enjoy. What are your best beach safety tips for kids?
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!