Australians love the beach, grow up with the beach in their veins and yet sometimes we take it for granted assuming that beach knowledge is common sense and that kids will automatically know it too. But the conversation about beach safety needs to happen before you get to the beach and needs to continue happening not just through the summer season but also in different conditions and different locations. As children grow and develop, so does their strength, confidence and knowledge and both the child and the parents need to be aware of their changing abilities. Most drownings in 2011 occurred outside the flags or outside the times where a Lifeguard was on duty.
Our key tips for staying safe at the beach are:
- Find the flags and learn what the flags mean. No flag no swim, it’s that simple.
- Introduce your children to the lifesavers, ask about the surf conditions and let your children know they are adults that can be trusted.
- Never allow your child to swim alone and actively supervise your children.
- Slip slop slap at least 15 minutes before you go out in the sun, and avoid the beach during the hottest hours of the day.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Find a spot to meet if you get separated and lost from your children.
- Fill in holes they dig and don’t dig into embankments.
- Respect that everyone wants to enjoy the beach so be mindful of others in the water
Surf Life Saving Australia – Beachsafe
This is an excellent website developed by Surf Life Saving Australia and provides lots