How to make your kids beach smart

How to make your kids beach smart

Whether you’re hitting the beach in high summer or splashing in the surf all year round, follow these tips to stay safe


The beach is a fun place for the whole family, whichever month of the year and whatever the weather. But the sea can be unpredictable. Last year RNLI lifeguards helped out more than 9500 children on or around UK beaches. And nearly a third of all people rescued from UK beaches last year were children under 12 years old.

With this is mind, it’s smart to teach your family members about how to stay safe as soon as they’re old enough to understand. To help parents the RNLI has come up with fun ways to help children get beach smart. There’s this interactive online game. Play it and claim your free activity pack which includes an identity wrist snapband (plus free waterproof pen to write your child’s name on it).

Beach smart swimming

The RNLI advises always going to an RNLI lifeguarded beach. When you get there, check the flags. Two red and yellow flags means you’re in a lifeguarded area. Always swim or bodyboard between these flags. Never swim where you see a black and white chequered flag – this indicates an area zoned by lifeguards for the use of watercraft, such as surfboards and kayaks. If you spot an orange windsock flying it means strong wind conditions, so don’t get out your inflatable. And red means danger. Never go into the water when the red flag is up under any circumstances.

Beach smart bodyboarding

RNLI advice is to make sure your child always wears a leash when bodyboarding. It stops your child from losing the board, should he or she come off. This means your child will be able to use the board as a flotation aid, should he or she fall off. Always bodyboard between the red and yellow flags and never bodyboard where you see a black and white chequered flag flying, as it means the area is reserved for other watersports.

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Beach smart safety

Teach children about other dangers they’ll find at the beach. These include natural elements, such as winds and rocks (both climbing on and swimming into) and waves and currents which could drag children out to sea. They need to be on the lookout for other people using the sea, such as kayakers and surfboards and dangers under the sea, such as jellyfish. If you’re stung by a jellyfish, do not rub as this will cause the pain to increase. Lightly spray the area with sea water and apply a cold compress if available. If more severe symptoms arise, seek medical attention immediately.

Beach smart sun safety

Whatever time of year you’re on the beach, make sure you use an adequate protection of sunscreen. When the sun is hot, add a sun hat and sunglasses. Slip on a t-shirt or UV protective suit for children. And when it’s particularly hot, seek shade, especially between 11am and 3pm.

More beach fun

Check out the RNLI’s safety games for children  and the six best games to play on the beach 

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My kit came this morning thank you, and I think it will be ideal for the children on the beach. They will love wearing the bracelets, I hope, so here's to a happy holiday for all :)

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