Summer holidays are on their way, which means only one thing - it’s time to head to the coast!
We love the beach here at Kosin, it’s part of who we are! Nothing beats the combination of the warm sun, hot sand, beautiful surf and the all the vibes that come with them. It’s the ultimate place to bring your family and build amazing memories, which is why you’ll find us there just as often as you’ll find as at home!
As parents, we know it can be a place that parental concerns can be commonplace. Along with all the beauty of the beach, there can be some dangers that some people aren’t aware of (or they just don’t know the particulars of beach safety). So we’re here to help ease your worries and inform you of some of the important must-knows when it comes keeping your kids safe this summer holiday.
Float To Live
Float To Live is a campaign run by the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) that encourages the importance of floating when struggling in the water. This is a simple action you can teach your kids to do in dangerous situations that can save their lives (as well as yours) Here are the 5 steps:
1. If you find yourself struggling in the sea, try to remain calm and fight the urge to thrash around
2. Extend your arms and legs and lean back
3. If you need help floating, gently move them around to aid you in doing so
4. Float until your breathing has calmed
5. Swim to safety, or if needed, call 999 or 112 for assistance
When in the ocean, cold water shock is a possibility if the water is below 15°C. When you experience cold water shock, it starts with a strong gasp for breath, then followed by hyperventilation. Issues can arise from this alone, as well as the panic that can happen from the sudden trauma you're experiencing.
Try to be aware of the conditions of the ocean before you or your loved ones get in. You can check the full surf reports for UK and IR on metoffice.gov.uk.
Flotation devices such as arm bands are great options for helping your children float, and wetsuits can also help prevent cold water shock by retaining your bodies heat!
Waves and Currents
Big waves and rip currents take many lives a year, so it’s really important that you are aware of what to do if you find yourself amongst them.
Rip currents are powerful currents of water flowing away from shore, which have the ability to drag swimmers out in to deep water. If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore while in the current and back to the beach at an angle.
Big waves can slam in to you and cause panic and disorientation. The best advice for surviving a big wave is to remain calm and try to go under the wave until you are on the other side. Hold your breath under it as long as necessary and remember not to panic.
Know Your Flags
Beach flags are the go-to indicator for whether or not it’s safe to swim on the beach. If you or your little ones intend on taking a dip, it’s important to make sure you go on a lifeguard patrolled beach to limit any potentially dangerous situations.
The flags you’ll find on the beach are:
- Red & Yellow flag - This shows the lifeguarded area and is the safest place to swim
- Black & White chequered flag - This area is for surfboards, paddle boards, kayaks etc. Not for swimming
- Red flag - A no go zone - never go in to the water if you see this flag flying!
- Orange windsock - This shows strong wind conditions. Never use inflatables if you see this sock
The RNLI is a staple of beach safety. They save countless lives, not only by their lifeguards and lifeboats, but by the information that they share. Always listen to the lifeguard on the beach if they have something to say, and take in all information that the institution share when it comes to beach safety.
We have a personal connection to the institution too! Kosin founder Joel’s great (x4) grandfather, Paul Curnow, was a veteran St Ives lifeboatman in the 1800s who was involved in many rescues in his service. An absolute legend!
Here at Kosin, the beach is at the heart of what we do, and we pride ourselves in supplying you with the best kit for you and your family for your summer adventure. Our collection of 100% cotton t-shirts, hoodies and change robes will have you and your crew ready to go. Visit our online store here.
Have a great summer, stay safe and we hope to see you on the beach!