A trip to the beach with the kids always makes for a great family day out. The sun, the sea, and the sand are just some things that make a day at the seaside enjoyable, but there are some pretty significant risks involved. There is plenty of fun and thrills to be had (who doesn't love fish and chips and ice cream?), but you need to be aware of the hazards that pose a danger to your little ones. Some are easy to spot, and your kids should be able to keep themselves safe, but others can catch you out and leave you wondering why you never thought of it until it was too late. Have a look below to learn some of the safety risks to look out for when you're at the beach and how to avoid them. Plus, don't forget to pack your essential ocean safety supplies!Learn about the supplies you need to have a safe day at the beach, from keeping your family safe in the water to avoiding sunburn. Click To Tweet
Make sure to use sunblock and reapply often
Sunburn is common, and while mild redness won't do you too much harm as an adult, a bad burn can be very dangerous for children. Make sure you use a quality sunblock and make sure you apply it well. Don't forget the ears, the tip of the nose, and the back of the neck, and reapply after going in the water.
Your swimwear can also help to protect you from the sun. Some fabrics have built-in sun protection, meaning you won't get sun damage through your clothes. Baby Swimwear is often found with this level of protection – their skin is incredibly delicate and vulnerable, so their clothes need to be able to protect them.
Ocean safety supplies: sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing
The tide can come in quickly and trap you
This is a hazard that can easily catch you. If you haven't checked the tide or been at the beach all day, you might find yourself trapped by the incoming waves. Never allow your children out of your sight, as they may end up in a cove that rapidly floods.
The tide can come in surprisingly fast. So even if your area is dry, a place down the coast could already be underwater.
Check the tides before heading to the beach, and ensure your kids know what to do if they find themselves trapped. Your children should be strong swimmers and be wearing the right gear. Swim caps eliminate drag and keep hair away from their mouths and eyes so they can swim their very best.
Ocean safety supplies: Life jackets and other flotation devices
Cliffs can collapse at any moment
You often see families sheltering from the wind at the base of cliffs or even exploring waterfalls cascading down onto the beach. Under no circumstances, however, should you copy them.
Cliffs can collapse at any moment, and thousands of people are killed every year by falling rocks. It might look warm and sheltered, but just one small pebble can knock you out or kill a child.
Walkers and sheep can often be found at the top of cliffs which can send rocks down, so make sure that your kids know never to go near them, no matter how nice it might look.
Heatstroke can be a serious problem for kids
Spending all day in warm, salty water and then on hot, dry sand in the sun will make you thirsty. Kids can get dehydrated very quickly without realizing it, leading to heatstroke. In severe cases, heatstroke requires hospital treatment, but in all likelihood, you're probably quite a long way from the closest hospital.
Take plenty of water with you, and make sure everyone keeps drinking it throughout the day. A first-aid kit may also be helpful – keep an emergency bottle of water in there, just in case.
Ocean safety supplies: Water bottles and fruits/vegetables with high water content
Jellyfish can pack a powerful sting
Jellyfish are not common on all beaches, but they can pack a powerful sting if you tread on one. While it's unlikely to kill you, a bad sting can be excruciating for a young child.
Whatever you do, don't urinate on the sting! Urine, along with fresh seawater, will actually aggravate the stingers and cause them to release more venom. Instead, rinse the skin with vinegar to denature the venom.
Keep a small bottle in your first aid kit, tweezers to pluck out stingers, and make sure it's with you wherever you are on the beach. If there are hot showers nearby, the hot water can help reduce the pain but only after using vinegar and tweezers.
Ocean safety supplies: First aid kit, vinegar, and tweezers
There is a lot of litter on popular beaches, which can cause injuries
Unfortunately, many popular beaches are now strewn with litter. Over time, the debris is broken down by the waves, making it more dangerous. Litter to look out for includes broken glass, sharp metal (such as drinks cans), needles, baby wipes, and condoms. These items can result in cuts and illness. So if the beach is covered in them, it's best to leave and find a cleaner one.
Don't be tempted to pick up litter with your bare hands – you may cause yourself injury or illness. You can always come back one day and do a litter pick with the right equipment!
Ocean safety supplies: Gloves, grabber tool, metal detector, and trash bags
Ultimately, if you remember these tips, you'll have a great family day out. Just make sure your kids know how to keep safe, too, and don't forget the picnic blanket!