Ditched kids a worry on the beach

IT'S a good thing lifeguard Trent Robinson has his Blue Card, because this summer holidays he expects to be inundated with lost children.

Surf Life Saving Queensland is calling on families to take surf safety seriously this festive period, worried that a growing number of children are being left at the beach unsupervised.

Mr Robinson said he could expect to rescue at least five unsupervised children these holidays.

"It's more frustrating than it is alarming," he said. "Parents are going shopping and dropping their kids off at the beach to fend for themselves.

"A lot of the time we can see a kid wandering around and we can prevent them from entering the water, but then it becomes a matter for police.

"It's mostly embarrassing for parents, because they know they've done something wrong."

SLSQ has boosted its patrols as the Christmas school holidays are traditionally the busiest period of the year.

SLSQ regional manager Aaron Purchase said this should not mean seeing an increase in unsupervised children on our shores.

"Surf lifesavers and lifeguards will be out in force this summer to watch over and protect swimmers in the flagged areas," he said.

"We really encourage all parents and family members to adopt the same approach and look out for each other, particularly when it comes to young children.

"Unfortunately we're continuing to see a lot of situations where parents will drop their young kids off at the beach for the day and then drive off and leave them to their own devices, which is nothing but a recipe for disaster."

Mr Robinson had another tip as well.

"As Christmas approaches, so do large tides, so we recommend swimmers stay out of river mouths," he said.

"That's where we do most of our rescues around this time of year."


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