6 beach safety tips
How to help kids stay safer on beaches.
An Oregon, US, family is in mourning after a nine-year-old girl died on the beach when a sand hole she was playing in collapsed on her, according to Huffington Post.

Witnesses said that the girl had been digging the hole with her siblings when she sat down in it to see how deep it was. The walls collapsed on the girl and covered her; when bystanders attempted to dig her out, the sand was said to have kept on collapsing on her. By the time firefighters and police managed to free her, she was unconscious and not breathing. Tragically, she did not recover.

Beach safety

Although many families enjoy years of visiting beaches without incident, there are some hazards worth watching out for if you have young kids.

Here are some beach safety tips for parents:

If digging holes for fun, do ensure that they aren’t so deep that a child can be trapped. Don’t dig tunnels with roofs as these can easily collapse. Also, don’t dig where people are walking and fill in holes after playing so that beach-goers don’t injure themselves by falling in.

Only swim where signs, lifeguards or locals suggest is appropriate. Never swim where a sign prohibits swimming. Also, avoid swimming near rocks or where there are strong currents.
Avoid swimming where there are boats or where the beach has allocated space for other water sports such as surfing. Ask the locals about the tides and the safest place to swim. If your child cannot swim, accompany your child into the water and don’t venture too deep. Don’t assume that toy inflatables are safe in the water, either. The sea can be very unpredictable and even strong swimmers can get into difficulty in the water.

Avoid jellyfish and bluebottles wherever possible. Stings can be very painful!

Put up a bright marker or arrange a meeting spot in case you get separated from your kids on a busy beach and make sure your child knows your phone number. Always ensure that you know where your children are and make sure they know not to stray.

Even on cloudy days the sun can burn you and your children. Do put on sunblock and wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible to avoid over-exposure and burning. Even though some kids hate wearing hats, these can help limit sun damage to the face.

Take plenty of water with you and make sure your kids stay hydrated.

Finally, never straddle a "dead" shark! (via Twitter)

The beach can be loads of fun for kids so following a few safety guidelines can help you and your kids to have a fun day out at the sea.

What other tips would you give to beach-going families?

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