1. Don’t forget the sunscreen
Put sun cream on children before heading to the beach, and reapply during the day. Sunscreen will offer some protection, but covering your little one with loose clothing and a wide-brimmed hat as well is even better.
2. Stay together
Keep children close, especially if you’re going swimming or paddling. Remember that even shallow water can quickly knock little ones off their feet – stay within arm’s reach of little ones whenever you’re in or near the water.
3. Look out for the flags
Always obey instructions from lifeguards, and encourage your children to look for the coloured flags that show when and where it’s safe to swim or paddle.
4. Tide checks
Check the information boards when you arrive at the beach to be aware of any local hazards, and remember that the tide can come in very quickly and change the environment. Make sure you know the tide times for the day to avoid getting caught out.
5. Keep drinking
Make sure your little one has access to drinks all day – remember that sun and wind can dehydrate you quickly at the beach, even on colder days.
6. Stick to the shade
It can be hard to find much shade at the beach, so bring something you can use to create your own, such as tents or sunshades. Encourage little ones to play in the shade between 11am-3pm when the sun is at its strongest.
PRO TIP: It’s sometimes difficult to strike a balance between letting children take risks and explore new environments. Talk to little ones before you go about how the seaside is different from where they usually play and plan how you can stay safe together.