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Used to the Pool? Things to Consider Before Heading to the Beach

Used to the Pool? Things to Consider Before Heading to the Beach
19 March 2015 1149 Views No comments

If your little one has been making the most of your local pool this winter to improve their swimming skills, they might be looking forward to the opportunity to head to the beach once the weather gets warmer.

While sea swimming is a lot of fun and presents your child with the opportunity to further improve their swimming ability, it is important that they understand the differences when it comes to swimming in the sea compared to a pool.

Not only could this make it easier for them to change their swimming style, but it also means that they'll be aware of the different safety aspects related to both environments. This will make any trip to the beach safer and more enjoyable.

More space

One of the most obvious differences is the size of the sea compared to any swimming pool. The sea is huge, and as such offers a larger area for your child to swim in. This can be dangerous if they get carried away, as they can find themselves going too deep or you can lose sight of them.

The lack of enclosed space means that you need to set boundaries for your children and ensure that they understand the importance of staying within those boundaries. This will help them to stay safe and in your sight at all times.

Depth

While a pool will have a more gradual slope, the sea is a little more unpredictable. While one day it may get deep quite slowly, other days may see a sudden drop appear. Even if you visit the same beach, there is no telling whether the depth of the water will change dramatically all of a sudden.

This means that it is important that you check the depth before your children get in the water. Doing this enables you to warn them of any dips in the sand and to check that they will be able to swim safely. This is particularly important if your little one is a nervous swimmer.

Tides and currents

In a swimming pool you don't need to worry about things like tides and currents, but in the sea you need to be aware of these.

When it comes to tides, it is a good idea to check when high and low tide are throughout a day. Not only will this allow you to judge where best to put all your things without risking them getting washed away, but it will also ensure that you know when the water is most likely to shift from shallow to deep.

Tides can change in an instant, leaving swimmers out of their depth or directing them to dangerous areas of the beach. Getting a tide calendar for your local beach or finding out where you can check this information on a daily basis is a good idea.

In terms of currents, you need to know whether the beach you are visiting is prone to strong and sudden currents. These can pull swimmers under the water or out of their depth incredibly quickly. If currents are strong, it is unlikely that children are going to be able to swim away from them.

If a beach or an area of a beach has strong currents, extra care will be needed or it might be better not to head into the water. Again, this is something you should check every day before heading in the water.

Lifeguards

All swimming pools have lifeguards, but not all beaches do. Even if a beach does have lifeguards, they may only be on duty at certain times or in certain areas. It is important that you know what the situation is with lifeguards on your beach before going for a dip.

You never know when a lifeguard might be needed, so it is a case of better safe than sorry.