A guide to family beach safety

Children love the beach, it’s the greatest playground on earth!

But as a parent, it can be a daunting experience, because while it’s loads of fun, it’s also busy with no boundaries and packed with potential dangers.

Family beach safety guide

Plan your family day at the beach using this handy family beach safety guide:

  • Keep an eye on the weather so you know what to expect
  • Visit beachsafe.org.au and check the beach you’re going to will be patrolled by lifeguards and read any warnings issued
  • Pack water and small snacks to keep hydrated and energised. Smaller snacks = less time waiting for food to digest before swimming
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen, a t-shirt and a hat. For super sun protection take a large umbrella or beach tent
  • Learn the OceanFit Ocean Responsibility Code and use it to teach your kids how to have fun and stay safe at the beach
  • Get to the beach early to avoid the crowds and miss the heat of the day
  • Head straight for the red and yellow flags and stay there while swimming. They’re also great for creating boundaries for children when out of the water
  • Always keep within sight and arms reach of your children. Leave the newspaper or book at home – you’re on kid watch!
  • Do a beach sweep before you leave for equipment, rubbish and the kids!
  • Take ice-cream money because there’s no better way to end a day at the beach.

Beach checklist

Here’s a handy checklist of things you might need for a fun and safe day at the beach:

  • Swimsuit & towel
  • Thongs or sandshoes
  • Warm clothes for after swimming
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses & wide-brimmed hat
  • Drink bottle and small snacks
  • Beach toys: frisbee, ball, bucket and spade
  • Bodyboards & surfboards with safety leashes & fins
  • Goggles and swim cap
  • Snorkel, mask and flippers
  • Beach cricket set or a bat and ball
  • Large beach blanket
  • Picnic lunch and a plastic bag for rubbish
  • Beach chairs
  • Sun umbrella or sun shelter
  • Plastic bucket for wet clothes & towels in the car
  • Money for ice-creams and other beach treats
  • Camera
  • Learn The OceanFit Ocean Responsibility Code
  • Sunsmart time of day: before 11am & after 4pm
  • Checked beachsafe.org.au for a patrolled beach

First published in December 2011

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