Travel

How to Stay Safe at the Beach

photo-1470161328612-764ea08a512d

Follow Sam:

Sam

Sam has worked as a forensic scientist as well as for the British government, and has degrees in both archaeology and osteoarchaeology. She has 2 children, is passionate about science, reading, history and music, and loves dyeing her hair bright colours!

Sam blogs about all kinds of science at www.samanthagouldson.com.
Follow Sam:

Latest posts by Sam (see all)

Although beaches are fun places they can also be dangerous, and you may have heard some stories in the news lately about people getting into difficulties when they’re in or by the sea. Our science editor Sam Gouldson, who lives on the Sussex coast, shares her tips for beach safety.

Go to a Beach with Lifeguards

lifeguard sign

 

Many beaches have lifeguards, who are trained to keep people safe whether they’re on the beach or in the sea. You can find out where these beaches are by searching the Good Beach Guide (for the UK), Irish Water Safety (for Ireland) or the ILSE (for Europe). Find out more about the RNLI Lifeguards in UK here.

Pay Attention to the Flags

Beach Safety

Beaches in the UK use a flag system to inform you of possible hazards. If there are red and yellow flags this means that there are lifeguards in that area and that it’s safe to swim.

A black and white chequered flag means that the area is for people using paddleboards, surfboards and kayaks, and that you should not swim there.

A red flag means that the area is dangerous and you should not go into the water for any reason. There may also be information boards and signs at the beach, and you should read these thoroughly.

Stay With Your Group

beach safety

If you stick with your family or friends you can all keep an eye on each other. Find somewhere distinctive to use as a base while you’re at the beach and agree where you’ll meet up if you get separated.

If there are younger children in your group make sure they’re with a responsible adult or older teen. Some beaches have a wristband scheme so that children can be easily identified and their group members contacted if they wander off; if the beach you’re visiting has one of these schemes, take part.

Learn About the Sea

beach safety

Different beaches have different conditions. The tide can come in much faster at one beach than at another, and you should always keep an eye on the water and which direction it’s flowing in. You can look up tide tables online so that you’re aware of when the tide is likely to turn and don’t get cut off from the shore.

Some beaches have dangerous features called rip tides, which are strong currents that can quickly sweep you out to sea without warning. Always check with the beach’s lifeguards if there are any areas that you should avoid – many beaches have a noticeboard to inform visitors about the current conditions.

Waves can also be dangerous, depending on how fast the water is moving and how steeply the beach shelves. Some beaches will have sharp rocks or other hazards that may not be clearly visible from the shore. Again, check the lifeguard’s advice before you go into the water.

If the weather is cool, consider wearing a protective suit to keep you warm in the water, as cold water shock can affect your breathing, blood pressure and heart rate.

Be Careful When Using Inflatables

photo-1422050383214-11e20f3f1d65

Inflatable toys and beds are designed to be used in swimming pools, not on open water. But if you do use them make sure there is an adult with you and that you’re in the lifeguarded area between the red and yellow flags.

You should stay near the shore and never use inflatables when there are big waves or an windsock is flying; these are signs that the wind is too strong.

Know What to Do If You Get Into Trouble

A photo by Pierre-Olivier Bourgeois. unsplash.com/photos/gfctvxvyvLk

If you find yourself in difficulties, stay calm. If the water is shallow enough for you to stand, wade through the water instead of trying to swim in it. Raise at least one hand in the air and shout loudly and clearly for help, and don’t try to swim against the tide because you’ll just tire yourself out.

If you have a board or an inflatable hold onto it; not only will it help you stay afloat it will also make you easier for rescuers to spot.

If you see someone who is in trouble in the water, stay calm. Alert the lifeguards, or if you can’t see them call the emergency services on 999 (in the UK) or 112 (anywhere in Europe).

Stay Safe in the Sun

photo-1458530553242-34a1bdf98213

Although the sea can be dangerous, so too can the sun. Always use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, and re-apply frequently.

Keep your head and shoulders covered, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and stay in the shade at the hottest part of the day (usually between 11am and 3pm).

For more information read “Why is too much sun bad for you and how does sunscreen work?”.

Read More...

Travel

Carnivals Around the World

Carnival Around the World

Lynn Schreiber

Founder and Editor at Jump! Mag
A freelance writer, who lives and works in Scotland with her family and fluffy white dog.

Likes: Writing, reading, twitter and chocolate
Dislikes: Negative and angry people

Latest posts by Lynn Schreiber (see all)

You might have heard of the carnival in Rio, but did you know that there are carnivals around the world – from Germany to Greece, USA to Italy?
Millie Slavidou explains where Carnival comes from on her blog

 

Long before the advent of Christianity, people held celebrations at this time of year. In Germany, they once looked forward to sending Hel, the goddess of the underworld, back down to her abode so they could herald the coming of the spring. In Greece, it was a time to worship the god Dionysus. With the arrival of Christianity, the celebrations continued, but changed in nature, gradually becoming more and more linked to the new religion. The Carnival is held in the period before the start of Lent, and Lent is the time when good Christians were supposed to fast, to abstain from meat

In UK, we don’t celebrate Carnival, but we do prepare for Lent – that is what Pancake Day is all about, after all. Traditionally, pancakes were made to use up the eggs, fat and butter, that were not to be eaten during Lent!
Take a trip around the world with us, to find out how other countries celebrate Carnival!

Read More...

Travel

Life in Saudi Arabia – Through the Eyes of a Child

kids5

Tina Price-Johnson

A Paralegal and Litigation Assistant by day, and Freelance Writer/Poet by night and weekend, Tina loves history, social studies and biographies, and enjoys writing about almost anything.She lives in London and travels in the UK and abroad whenever she can, and can usually be found wandering around crumbling ruins.

Latest posts by Tina Price-Johnson (see all)

 

 

As a very young girl I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to stay in Saudi Arabia for a few weeks, as my father was working there for British Telecom.  Saudi Arabia is a very different culture to ours, and I have vivid memories of my time there.  I remember walking around in shorts and a T-shirt because I thought it was very hot, yet all the Saudi Arabians were in big heavy coats because it was their winter!  That was in the 1970s, and Saudi Arabia has changed quite a bit since then. What is it like to be a child in Saudi Arabia now?

 

Read More...

Travel

The Best Urban Beaches

cologne beach

Lynn Schreiber

Founder and Editor at Jump! Mag
A freelance writer, who lives and works in Scotland with her family and fluffy white dog.

Likes: Writing, reading, twitter and chocolate
Dislikes: Negative and angry people

Latest posts by Lynn Schreiber (see all)

Who else is looking forward to the summer? Whether you call your summer break a ‘vacation’ or a ‘holiday’, there is a good chance that some of you are heading for the beach.
Did you know that around the world there are hundreds of artificial beaches. Some are near the coast, but others are miles away from the seaside – perfect for those who don’t or can’t travel far.

City beaches are sometimes called ‘urban beaches’ like the one above in Cologne, Germany. This can involve the delivery of hundreds of tonnes of sand, to a place where there is no sand.

 

Islands Brygge, Copenhagen, Denmark

 

There is no sand here, but it is an oasis of fun in the middle of the city. For many years, this area was run down and neglected, but after a regeneration project, new life is blossoming. Who wants to jump off this diving board?

 

Festival of Love Beach, South Bank, London UK

This beach is all about relaxing and digging your feet into the sand. No pool (and the chilly Thames is certainly no alternative!) but great views over London, and the South Bank centre often has great activities for kids on offer. Check out their website for details.

 

Paris Plage, France

The capital city of France can get really hot and muggy in the summer months, so what better way than to cool off at an urban beach? Check out the huge showers in the picture!

 

Bundek Lake, Zagreb, Croatia

Lake Bundek

Lake Bundek

In the south of the city of Zagreb, this park was brought back to life after many years of neglect. It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, hoping to cool off in the hot Croatian summers.

 

 

Baby Plage, Geneva, Switzerland

BABY-PLAGE-5347-jjkphoto

Baby Plage, Geneva

Baby Plage, Geneva

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This might be the MOST fun urban beach for kids in the world. The huge trees are festooned with old tyres and bicycle tubes, knotted together to create ladders and swings.

 

 

San Alfonso del Mar, Chile

Ok, this is a bit of a cheat, cause it isn’t an urban beach, but it is the biggest swimming pool in the world, so we had to include it! It is 8 hectares, and holds 250 million liters of water. That is equivalent of 6,000 familiar 8m long pools! It is part of a privately owned complex in South America.

 

 

BONUS BEACHES

beach at homeNow, don’t tell your parents that we showed you this, and don’t try it out at home, but how awesome does this look? We can’t help thinking that this would be VERY messy, but it looks so relaxing and fun!

The artist Justin Kemp created home sandbox for under his desk.

 

 

Ocean DomeThis was built in Japan in 1993 – an artificial beach with a retractable roof. It was not commercially successful and closed over 10 years ago. Which is a real shame, because it looks really amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image – Cologne KM689 Beach Bar in Germany

Read More...

School & Career, Travel

What is it Like to Grow Up in Finland?

6858394405_0ea8102889_z

Tina Price-Johnson

A Paralegal and Litigation Assistant by day, and Freelance Writer/Poet by night and weekend, Tina loves history, social studies and biographies, and enjoys writing about almost anything.She lives in London and travels in the UK and abroad whenever she can, and can usually be found wandering around crumbling ruins.

Latest posts by Tina Price-Johnson (see all)

My husband lived in Finland for two years before he met me. I love listening to his stories of the cold, the beauty, the fun he had and the wildlife (including wolves) he saw. Finland is called the Land of a Thousand Lakes. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to grow up in Finland. 

Read More...