A Hilton Head beach vacation is a ritual for many families every year and we love to see you flooding our beaches already this spring and summer. But as much fun as it may be, there are a few precautions to keep in mind to keep everyone safe by the sea:
All aboard! While aboard a boat, especially a canoe or kayak, make sure every child is wearing a personal flotation device. Half of the children who drowned in recreational boating accidents in 2010 weren’t wearing one. It’s a simple fix. Here at Hilton Head Outfitters, we have plenty of them available. Please don’t leave shore without one.
Oceanside: Children younger than 4 are more at risk at the water’s edge because of their inexperience around water and waves. Waves can knock over a little one and currents can keep them from getting to their feet. Don’t take your eyes off them, and if they are in the water, keep them within arm’s reach.
Lifeguards: Many beaches on Hilton Head Island are staffed by trained lifeguards. They provide good backup for your watchful eye.
Non-swimmers: Children who can’t swim should never use a flotation device unless it’s a Coast Guard-approved life jacket, or PFD.
Rip currents: Also known as undertows, they are deadly. Fortunately, the weather services here do a great job of alerting us to them. Check the weather forecast before you go to the beach and stay out of the water if they are forecast. Anyone past ankle depth is at risk. These dangerous currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves. Teach your child what to do if he gets caught in one: swim parallel to the shore until the pull stops and then swim back to shore.
Sea critters: Jellyfish are common visitors around here, so teach kids to keep their eyes peeled for these stinging animals. Even dead ones can still sting, so don’t poke or prod animals that wash up on the sand.
A little knowledge can make your day at the beach on Hilton Head Island much more relaxing and safe.