Water Safety at the Beach
Most of our water safety tips around the pool also apply to other open bodies of water, like beaches, rivers and lakes, but there are some rules that everyone should be aware of when swimming out in the open.
- Supervise your children at all times and don’t let them get too far away from you
- Always apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going in. The higher SPF, the better. Reapply sunscreens liberally and regularly. Don’t forget a shirt, sunglasses and a hat for extra protection!
- At the beach always swim when and where a lifeguard is on duty. Swim between the flags and listen to what the lifeguards say. They know best about incoming conditions and if they say to move or get out of the water you should listen.
- Check with lifeguards on duty when you arrive at the beach on what the swimming conditions are
- Try not to swim with little kids when there are large waves. These could easily knock them over or worse.
- Try to wear something bright like a rash vest so you can easily be seen
- Try not to face with your back to the waves, they could knock you down
- Watch out for jellyfish and other dangerous fish! If you see any stay away and if you get stung, alert an adult straight away. The most common stings are from Blue Bottle Jellyfish. These are non-life threatening and can be soothed with hot water for about 20 minutes on the sting or a cold ice pack if there is no hot water available. If you don’t know what stung you, it’s best to call over lifeguard immediately and if necessary call 000.
- Don’t stay in the open water if the weather turns bad, especially when there is lighting
- A rip current is a narrow and very strong current of water that moves directly away from the shore. If you get in trouble with a rip remain calm, float and raise your arm to signal to a lifeguard for help. Don’t exhaust yourself by trying to swim out of the rip. If possible swim across the rip in the direction following the shoreline to try and exit the rip.
- Don’t drink alcohol around the beach and other bodies of water
- Don’t jump or dive into the water
- Stay hydrated, especially when it’s hot
- If you’re walking on the rocks to look at rock pools, wear shoes with non-slip soles so that you don’t slip and fall
- Always check water depth before letting your children go in, lakes especially can drastically deepen with no warning
- Always be aware of where you are stepping, there could be slippery banks, sharp rocks or branches