Are you lucky enough to be travelling away in search of some winter sun? If so read our top tips below to stay safe when hitting the beach or pool on holiday.
Remember to investigate the area you are travelling to, you may not realise but your nearest beach might have strong ocean currents or the children’s pool area might be busy and easy for you to lose sight of your young children. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children aged one to four so here’s some basic safety tips for when you are on holiday.
Learn to swim
Whether you are at the pool or beach, look out for lifeguards. They are there for a reason and are trained to watch for unsafe water conditions and alert swimmers of any potential dangers.
Lifeguards are not a substitute for parents or family members. Maintain sight of your young children at all times in and out of the water. Designate adults as water watchers and take it in turn to watch your children.
Water wings and pool noodles are fun but they can provide a false sense of security. Replace these aids and swim with your child and be there to swim with them. It’s a great time to bond with your child!
Rip currents at the beach are powerful currents that can pull swimmers out to sea. If you are caught in a rip current, resist the urge to swim to shore. Instead, remain calm and swim parallel to the shore. Once free of the rip current you will be then be able to swim to shore. The RNLI give some great advice on rip currents here.
Observe beach warning flags
Flags are often flown on local beaches to indicate current swimming conditions. A red and yellow flag in the UK means the safest area to swim, bodyboard and use inflatables. Black and white chequered flags indicates an area for surfboards, paddleboards and kayaks. Red flag means danger and never go in the water when a red flag is flying. See these beach warning flags from the RNLI if you are in the UK or alternatively check the what the warning flags mean when you are on a beach abroad.
In the event of a serious accident, it’s always helpful to have an adult trained in resuscitation on hand.
Never swim when there is lightning or the potential for it. If a storm is moving in then exit the water.
Protect yourself from the sun
The strength of the sun’s rays can be very surprising. Use a high-SPF sunscreen and wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) rays. Be sure to stay hydrated during extended periods in the sun as well.
For more information about our swimming lessons, see our swimming programme.