Children love to explore and go on adventures, so if you are going to the beach, its important to keep them safe. Before you and your family head to the beach or off on holiday, it's a good idea to do some research. Look into which beaches have good family facilities and safety features.
During the school holidays, and in particular in hot weather, increasing numbers of children put themselves at risk of drowning. On average 40-50 children drown per year in the UK, so its important to be as safe as possible when going to the beach.
There are things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe at the beach. There are dangers and hazards that can be present on any beach, so make sure you are prepared, and pick a beach which is safe for your children.
It's also really important to stay safe in the sun.
On some beaches in Norfolk it is possible to get cut off by the tide. Getting cut off by the tide also contributes to a significant number of RNLI rescues every year.
Because tide times and heights vary throughout the month, a beach that was clear yesterday at 5pm might be completely covered in sea at the same time today.
It is possible to predict exactly when the tide on each beach will be in or out, so you can make sure you do not get cut off. Check the tide timetable of the beach before you visit.
Supervise Your Child
Children are safest when supervised.
When you get to the beach speak to your children about a meeting point in case they get lost. If you are on a lifeguarded beach, visit the lifeguard hut when you get there and they may be able to give you special wristbands to put your contact details on.
If your child does go missing:
Learn to Float in the Water
Learning to float is a skill that could save your child’s life. This essential life skill will teach them to keep their airways clear of the water and control their breathing if they get into trouble in the water.
Watch the video below on how to float and practise next time you visit the pool with your child.
Wearing Sun Cream
Water washes sunscreen off so make sure to use a water-resistant one if it's likely your child will sweat or have contact with water.
Sunscreen should be reapplied straight after you have been in water, even if it's "water resistant", and after towel drying, sweating or when it may have rubbed off. It is always better to be safe than get burnt!
Children aged under 6 months should be kept out of direct strong sunlight. Take extra care to protect babies and children, their skin is much more sensitive than adults.
You can also contact a member of the 0-19 Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.