What a lot going on at the beach: suggestions on how not to get lost!
Are you planning a holiday at the beach with your little ones? Besides relax and fun, remember that beaches are very crowded places and it is easy for small children to become disorientated and get lost. So, what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen?
The sea is a continuous distraction for your little ones: the sand, the water, children play for hours without realising how much time has passed and they often lose their sense of direction. Sometimes, on the beach, they don’t even realise they are lost, and are surprised when they see the terror in their parents’ eyes, after they have been found.
Unfortunately, it happens more often than you might think and that is why it’s good to make sure it doesn’t happen and try never to leave your little ones playing by themselves. One suggestion is to take it in turns, parents, grandparents or other relatives if possible. Teach your children what to do if they do get lost, even if they are really little: try not to make a fuss, no alarmism and no psychological terror. Trust them and make sure that if they get lost, they don’t panic - even if they are young.
A good technique is to buy to your children a white plastic wrist band where you can write their name and the phone number of a parent.
If they have to play a bit far from you, or they go somewhere with their friends, and you don’t have any wristbands on you, don’t panic : just for once we can write the number of our beach resort on their arm with a pen.
Even if your children are very young, teach them to go toward the sand and never towards the sea. By doing this they will see the lifeguard, beach chairs, walkways and other people they can ask for help.
Another thing that you can do is to make your little one memorise the colour of the beach umbrellas where you are, or the name of the beach resort. Your children will be able to tell the lifeguard or whoever finds them the name of the beach resort where their parents are.
Clearly we can’t expect children to never let go of their mum’s or dad’s beach chair, that is why it’s important that you give them a point of reference, to memorise together: a changing room of a particular colour, the carousel, the slides, the vending machines, the lifeguard cabin.
To make your beach umbrella even more visible, you could attach a small flag or a kite to it, so that it can be seen easily!
These are only some of the precautions that you can take to make sure your children don’t get lost at the beach. And if it should happen, try and keep calm. Most children will get lost at some time or another. It is only by staying calm that you will find the spots where you can look for them, also by knowing their habits: at a friend’s beach umbrella, in the nearest beach resort, at the play area, at the bar, or at the shore.
You can’t find them? Ask the lifeguard, and remember that at the beach there are often tannoy systems which can be used to call the names of any lost children, with a point of references.
This will make it easier to find them.