7 lifesaving tips for parents at the beach this summer

Going to the beach this summer? A YMCA Auckland Lifeguard shares 7 lifesaving tips that could make the difference to your family’s lives this season.
Going to the beach this summer?

A YMCA Auckland Lifeguard shares 7 lifesaving tips that could make the difference to your family’s lives this season.
Senior YMCA Lifeguard Victoria is no stranger to the many dangers that can spawn when necessary precautions aren’t taken around the water.

On the coastline of the wild, picturesque beach of Piha, Victoria grew up gaining irreplaceable first-hand lifeguarding experience, and learned how to correctly respect the conditions and to have a lot of fun in the water doing so too.

Victoria shares her expertise by providing 7 key tips that could save your family's lives this summer.

7 lifesaving tips for parents at the beach


Tip 1 - The best way to protect your child in the water

The easiest and safest option towards protecting your children is to always swim with them in the water.

Never let toddlers and pre-schoolers out of your sight.

Tip 2 - What to do if you feel uneasy at the beach

Never over estimate your ability or your child’s ability in the water. If you feel uneasy or unsure about swimming ask the lifeguard on duty for advice.

Never underestimate the conditions. In New Zealand especially, we have surf and currents that can turn very quickly.

Teach your children to swim in between the flags and stay visible.

Tip 3 - What to do if you can’t see the flags or lifeguards

If flags or lifeguard stations are not visible at the beach, we advise that no-one swims in the water, parents or children.

However experienced and confident swimmers may take the risk anyway, but should look for areas that have smaller waves, with sets breaking evenly and frequently, flowing in the same direction.

Many people make the mistake of choosing areas in the surf where waves are not breaking, this is often dangerous as these areas are likely to be fast flowing currents (rips) that can easily sweep you off your feet.

Tip 4 - How to pick a safe spot to swim

Stay safe, stay visible in the water and swim between the flags.

It’s always a good idea to swim in areas where other people are, it becomes easier to get help and assess the danger of the water.

Tip 5 - What to do in times of danger

If you or your child gets in a situation where you are slightly worried it’s important not to panic.

Never be scared to ask for help, the sooner you realise you are struggling in the water, the faster you can get yourself out by putting your hand up for a lifeguard.

Tip 6 - Stay smart, stay rested

Take breaks, pace yourself. Rest is key and can make a difference if you get yourself into trouble in the water.

If you feel fatigued, take a break, rest up and stay hydrated.

Tip 7 - Learn to swim

If you're not a strong swimmer, eliminate the risk in the water this summer by enrolling yourself and your kids in swimming lessons that offer quality support from lifeguards like Victoria.

It’s never too late to start; gain confidence in the water by attending safety orientated swimming lessons at your local YMCA. Find out more ...

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