Although a day out by the seaside can be great fun please read the following article from the RNLI which includs important safety tips for parents with children planning to spend a day on a beach.
The best way to keep children safe at the seaside is to choose a lifeguarded beach and stay in the area between the red and yellow flags - this is the safest area as it is the area monitored closely by the lifeguards.
On RNLI lifeguarded beaches last summer, more than 1,540 children went missing or were found wandering before being reunited with their parents, so the RNLI advises people to keep their children nearby and watch them closely, especially when in or near the water.
- As soon as you get to the beach, agree a meeting point in case of separation. If the beach runs a child safety scheme, using wristbands or tickets, take part.
- If your child does go missing, calmly check your surroundings first, ensuring other children under your supervision remain monitored. Contact the lifeguards or police and keep them informed, and let all searchers know once the child has been found.
- While in the water, stay close to the shore and always swim or play between the red and yellow flags - these flags designate the safest place to enjoy the sea. Never let your child swim alone.
- Most beaches have local signage at the beach entrance - it's always useful to read these signs as they will point out any hazards specific to the beach you are visiting.
- Other common issues associated with the sea are inflatable toys, which are best left for swimming pools - it only takes a light offshore breeze for children on inflatables to be swept a long way from shore. If inflatables are used in the sea, they should only be used between the red and yellow flags and never taken out in big waves or strong winds.
The SAFE message can help children remember the key safety messages:
Spot the dangers
Always go with a friend
Find and follow the safety signs
Emergency? Stick up your hand and shout or ring 999 and ask for the Coastguard.