Summer has finally arrived and people are swarming to the nation’s beaches, but how do we make sure our families stay as safe as possible? Here are some key dos and don’ts before you head to your favourite sandy or pebbly destination.
…keep as much distance between you and other beachgoers as is physically possible, including in shops, cafes and toilets. Wear a mask if you venture indoors.
…lather on the sun cream. Streaky red skin is unsightly and dangerous! If you do get burned, take a cool shower and rub on some aftersun.
…wear a hat. Sunstroke is really unpleasant, and a good hat will help to protect you from it. Team it with a stylish pair of sunnies and you’re good to go!
…drink plenty of water. Take drinks, buy drinks, drink drinks! Ice lollies can help to keep children cool if they don’t seem to be drinking enough.
…make sure you know where the lifeguard station is. This is important if anything goes awry in the water, but also if you need first aid or if a child gets lost.
…pay attention to any flags in the water – google what they mean to make sure you stay safe. As a general rule of thumb, green means go and red means danger.
…draw attention to yourself if you or someone else is drowning. Wave your arms above the water and call out for help. Float or tread water if you can.
…wear beach shoes to avoid stings, scrapes and sand burn.
…get out of the water if you are stung by a jellyfish. Hot water or a saltwater rinse should help, but you may need to see a pharmacist and take painkillers if you’re in a lot of pain.
…use disinfectant wipes and sanitiser if you’re touching things that other people will or have touched.
…drink alcohol if you’re planning to go in the water. Avoid eating within an hour of your swim, too.
…let children go in the water unattended, even to paddle. It’s always best to err on the side of caution, as the sea can be very unpredictable. Avoid going out too far, regardless of whether you are a strong swimmer or not, and be careful when using lilos, boats and boards, as they can be swept out to sea.
…dive off cliffs, rocks or other high surfaces. This is so, so dangerous, as you never know what’s under the water, and if you hit your head you could very easily drown. No matter who else is doing it, keep your feet firmly on the ground!
…leave children exposed to the sun all day. A beach tent and coverups – teamed with plenty of sunscreen and liquids – can help to prevent sunburn and sunstroke.
…leave any rubbish behind. Go home with everything your brought and bought, or put it in a bin!
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