Summer is almost here!
With the sunny season on its way, you’re probably busy planning vacations and activities to keep your family happy and busy all summer long. This likely includes as many trips to be beach as you can squeeze in. After all, what’s summer without the beach? The sand, the sea, the swimming, the surfing, the sunscreen - it’s a Southern California dream come true!
But with all of the beauty, fun, and relaxation a beach trip can bring, there are a few things your children need to know to stay safe. At BeachSports, a summer camp for kids in the South Bay, we teach our campers everything they need to know to stay safe on the beach. Knowing how to navigate safely throughout the day allows your kids to have a ton of fun - and allows you to breathe a little easier as a parent.
Below, we’ve put together 6 ocean safety tips for kids to remember this summer.
1. Talk to the Lifeguard
First and foremost, we always advise you to swim next to a lifeguard tower. Lifeguards are our beaches safety experts, and they’re there to make you feel comfortable and confident on the beach. They’re always friendly, and would much rather take the time to explain a dangerous situation than have to rescue you and explain the situation after the fact.
So before you head into the water, strike up a conversation! Ask the lifeguard the best spot to go in and if there is anything you should be aware of that day.
2. Know Your Limits
It’s important to teach kids to know their limits and stay within their comfort zone - especially when it comes to the ocean. If a wave looks too big, it probably is and can be very dangerous. Trust your instincts, listen to the lifeguard, and know when you feel comfortable diving in and when it might be a good time to wait it out.
3. Swim in Designated Swimming Areas
The lifeguards will almost always have flags set up on the beach to identify the safe swimming areas. Follow the lifeguard’s instruction and always swim between the flags. Also, be sure to constantly look back at the beach to make sure you’re inside those flags - it’s easy to catch a current and drift outside of the safe swimming area, so keep yourself in check.
4. Never Turn Your Back on the Ocean
The ocean is a very unpredictable place and things can change quickly. Waves that seem small at one moment can take you by surprise with a big wave coming out of nowhere. Be alert, keep your eyes on the ocean while swimming, and don’t turn your back to oncoming waves.
If you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation, do your best to stay calm. Panicking is what leads to serious situations. The lifeguard is always on duty, but staying calm will help you properly assess how to stay safe.
The most common situation in the ocean is being stuck in a rip current. If you notice yourself being pulled away from the beach, stay calm, and swim parallel to the beach. When you feel like you’re not being pulled out any further, that’s the time to swim straight in.
6. Attend a Beach Camp or Jr. Lifeguard Program
It’s never too early to start learning about the beach and the ocean! Any good beach, surf, or Jr. Lifeguard camp will teach introductory ocean safety lessons and skills in a fun and inclusive environment. Attending a summer beach camp is essential if you want your kids to eventually go to the beach unsupervised, which they will inevitably want to do one day.
At BeachSports, we’ve collaborated with lifeguards and local school teachers to create a program that is inclusive, fun, educational, and most importantly, safe for all of our campers. The instruction they learn at camp will help them enjoy the beach safely for years to come!
To learn more about BeachSports and our beach, surf, volleyball, Jr. Lifeguard, and skateboard camps, visit our website at BeachSports.org. Have a great summer, and we’ll see you on the beach!