This is my message to parents and family members about taking kids into the surf at the beach.
Whereas the beach is not a swimming pool, and
Whereas the surf can be powerful and create dangerous and sudden currents, and
Whereas the surf can appear much smaller from the beach than it actually is, and
Whereas many children do not have a practical understanding of danger;
Be it resolved that:
- Parents should not allow small children to play in the surf unless the parent is a very experienced surfer and can judge conditions appropriately;
- Parents should not allow ANY child (including teenagers) to play in the surf if the child is not a strong and confident swimmer with an understanding of how to handle the waves unless the child in the presence of a “mentor” who is experienced and has a watchful eye.
- Parents should always seek out a beach with lifeguard protection and swim with their children directly in front of the lifeguard tower.
- Families should avoid putting themselves in a situation where no one in the family is a strong swimmer and the family is swimming at a beach with no lifeguards. This is a recipe for tragedy
- All children should be taught to swim at an early age by a qualified instructor.