What’s Your Shark Policy?

I can be a little neurotic about certain things. Not everything, but the occasional issue gets under my skin and I can’t let it go. Add to that, I married a man in the insurance business. It’s not uncommon for us to put our heads together and do whatever it takes to eliminate risk, especially when it involves our children.

Which is why we had to make a “shark policy” last summer for our beach trip.

What is a shark policy, exactly? I’m glad you asked.

The policy basically stated that our children could have a blast at the beach. They could play in the sand. They could walk on the beach. And they could splash in the waves. What they weren’t allowed to do, was to go out into the water past their knees without mom or dad.

The funny thing about this policy is that neither of my children really care THAT much about getting in the ocean (and, by “getting in the ocean” I mean like swimming out into deeper water.) Brent and I both felt more comfortable setting up this policy prior to our arrival at the beach.

Our children also went through a mini shark survival class (led by me!)

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During our shark safety training I reminded them that if we ever called them out of the water that they were to move immediately. As much as I would love them to both always spring into action when I give a request, I knew it wasn’t realistic.

Typically my requests are met with questions like “why?” and “can I have 1 more minute?” I trusted that after our shark safety school (and yes, I called it that. They LOVED it!) my kids would move quickly in the event of an emergency.

Additionally, I taught them that if they encountered an attacking shark in the water, they were to punch him in the nose. Of course this was sort of a joke, but my kids got a huge kick out of it. They had a great time demonstrating (with imaginary sharks swimming around our living room) how this was going to play out.

Our trip to the beach last summer was amazing. The kids thoroughly enjoyed their time on the beach.

I was relaxed knowing that we’d downgraded the risk of our children being one of the 1 in a million who gets attacked by a shark. (Just to get technical, the number is actually 1 in 11.5 million worldwide. However, after last summer was dubbed ‘the summer of the shark’ by beaches in both North and South Carolina…it’s fair to say that the odds might have been a little higher!)

What are your thoughts? If the shark spotting/attacks are high this summer, would you make a “shark policy” for your family?

Two final thoughts: First, this was a hot topic at my pool last summer among all the families traveling to the beach. I promise, I’m not alone with this crazy, neurotic issue. Based on the conversations, my kids were lucky they were allowed to put even a toe in the water!

Also, for the record, there was a big shark spotted right in front of where we were staying. I never personally saw the shark (and there was no attack), but the lifeguard had everyone out of the water for quite a while!

You might also enjoy reading:

Travel Journal: Covering 5 States In 2 Days

Canada: Crossing the Border

The Best Beaches To Visit With Kids

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