Stay safe at the beach this summer
The beach is New Zealand's favourite playground, but it can also be a dangerous place. Learning about the risks and preparing yourself will mean you and your family can enjoy the sun, sea and sand safely this summer.
The Water Safety Code is a handy way to remember what to do to stay safe in and around the water. There are four simple rules:
1: Be prepared
Learn to swim and survive and set rules for safe play in the water. Always use safe and correct equipment – for instance if you are boogie boarding, you need a leash and fins too. Always wear appropriate beach attire – clothes are heavy when wet and can pull you down and restrict your movement. Be SunSmart, and know the weather and water conditions before you go.
Always wear appropriate beach attire
2: Watch out for yourself and others
Always pay close attention to children you are supervising in or near water. Swim with others and in areas where surf lifeguards are patrolling and make sure you swim between the flags. Listen to advice from the surf lifeguards. Be considerate and aware of other surf users.
Always swim between the flags
3: Be aware of the dangers
If you are at a beach without patrol flags flying and you are unsure if it’s safe, don’t risk it –- stay out of the water. Always enter shallow and unknown water feet first and obey all safety signs and warning flags. Don’t go swimming after drinking alcohol, or if you are tired or cold – you will be less able to recognise danger and keep yourself safe. Learn about hazards to be aware of, like rips, holes and different types of waves.
Read the safety signs
Ask a lifeguard for safety advice
Beware of rips
Never swim after drinking alcohol
4: Know your limits
Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience, and never swim or surf alone. Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger. Training to be a surf lifeguard with a surf lifesaving club will give you the opportunity to develop these skills, and it always pays to have first aid skills, so consider taking a course.
Know your limits
For more information about staying safe whilst enjoying the great outdoors, check out www.adventuresmart.org.nz.