Beach Safety for Children

Keeping Children Safe

You do not have to go to the beach to have a beach party! You can get out the sand and water, make some sandwiches, put up an umbrella and make your garden into a beach for the day.  However, if you do decide to visit the beach here are some ideas for involving the children in writing your risk assessment.

Pre-visit check

Before attending the beach with children, it might be useful to carry out a pre-visit check. Ask the children what types of things you need to consider such as...

  • The location and cleanliness of the toilets;
  • Times of tides;
  • Accessibility for disabled children;
  • Cleanliness of the beach;
  • Safety measures taken by the council to ensure the beach is safe and clean.

If possible look online with the children and download or request a risk assessment written specifically for the beach you are visiting.

Check list

Ask the children to help you make a check list of the things you need to take on the outing. Involve them in writing the list and gathering everything together...

  • Emergency contacts;
  • Emergency permission forms;
  • Medication – where do the children think it might be stored to keep it safe?
  • Nappies, nappy sacks, wipes – travel potty and bags;
  • Spare clothes;
  • Travel wipes and hand cleaning spray;
  • Food and drink for the day;
  • Charged mobile phone – check mobile signal during pre-visit;
  • Emergency contact details for every child and information about allergies, medication, parents wishes if their child is injured etc. You will find a free Emergency Contact Information form here - https://www.childcare.co.uk/free-childminder-paperwork
  • First aid kit – what sort of accidents do the children think might happen on a beach?
  • Drinks, snacks, money etc.

Risk assessment

Your risk assessment might include:

Ratios check - yes O  no O

Parents informed – yes O  no O

Pre-visit completed – yes O  no O

Bag packed – yes O  no O

 

Hazard / risk - control...

  • Sun exposure / sun burn – use shaded areas and sun shade on buggy; children will wear hats and appropriate clothes; use sun cream supplied by parents and reapply regularly.
  • Big area with lots of adults and children moving around / lost or missing child – remind children about the dangers of talking to strangers; supervise constantly; it is a requirement for childminders to have a written ‘Lost / Missing Child Procedure’. Gold Childcare.co.uk members can download a sample policy here.

https://www.childcare.co.uk/childminderpolicies

  • Jelly fish on beach / stings – follow emergency procedure; recommend parents take child to the doctor. It is recommended that all childminders have a written ‘Emergency Procedure’. Gold Childcare.co.uk members can download a sample policy here.

https://www.childcare.co.uk/childminderpolicies

  • Behaviour issues / children hurting themselves, running off etc – behaviour expectations are explained before and during the outing; children will be reminded about behaviour expectations; use buggy straps and reins as appropriate.
  • Inappropriate clothes or footwear / sunburn – remind parents about clothing expectations before the visit and provide spare clothes if needed.
  • Debris on beach / cuts, trips – first aid will be applied if required; the ‘Emergency procedure’ will be followed for serious injuries; children will wear appropriate footwear and clothing; visual checks of the areas in which children play will be made.
  • Sand thrown / eye damage – children will be asked and reminded not to throw sand; if sand is in an eye it will be irrigated with fresh water immediately; for more serious eye injuries follow Emergency Procedure (above).
  • Sun tan lotion / cross contamination, allergic reaction – use sun lotion supplied by parents and reapply regularly; wash hands in between applications to different children to prevent cross contamination;
  • Lack of toilet facilities / distress, wet child – check location and cleanliness of toilets during pre-visit; take a travel potty and spare clothes (see check list).
  • Dog and other animal faeces / toxoplasma and other illnesses – remind children not to touch things lying on the beach; if children do touch dog or other faeces, wipe hands using a baby wipe, apply cleaning spray and wash with soap and water as quickly as possible; advise parent to take their child to the doctor and follow Emergency Procedures if concerned.
  • Animals / bites – remind children not to touch animals.
  • Rocks / slips, falls – do a risk-benefit assessment and support the children to climb safely; supervise children closely; use first aid kit as trained and call for help if necessary.

Note – you might have other risks which you want to include depending on your outing: this risk assessment is a guide only.

 

 

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