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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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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