If you’ve ever looked to the shore while swimming in the ocean, you know just how easy it can be to get disoriented. Between the waves knocking you around and the current dragging you away, it’s easy to be moved from the point where you entered the water without you even noticing.
And in that case, imagine how easy it is for a kid to get lost while swimming in the ocean, especially if the beach is crowded. That was recently the case for a little boy on a beach in Brazil who got separated from his mom—but thankfully, the other beachgoers had a clever tactic for reuniting the pair.
A video shot by a tourist on the beach in Ubatuba shows everyone near the lost boy begin clapping and chanting, “Lost,” in Portuguese. Around the 40-second mark, you’ll see that the clapping worked, and the mom rushes over to retrieve her son:
Reunited at last!
The person responsible for filming the now-viral video was on a family trip at the beach of Perequê Açu on Dec. 31, 2017 when they noticed a commotion. “We suddenly heard some clapping, at first we thought it was someone’s birthday but I noticed that the man who was with the child signaled that he was lost. It took a little more than 10 minutes for the child be found. But at the end, the clapping worked out,” according to YouTube’s ViralHog.
According to Britain’s Daily Mail, this is a common tactic on the beaches of Brazil, and it’s a pretty genius one, if I do say so myself. It’s a great way to draw attention to the child, while staying in one place. It’s much easier for the parent to come to the child than the other way around.
How To Keep Track Of Your Kids At The Beach
Of course, the ultimate goal is to avoid a scary moment like that mother experienced altogether. Here are some tips for keeping track of your kids at the beach:
1. Stay Close
Former lifeguard and writer Patrick Quinn wrote in a Huffington Post article, “If your child is near the water, you need to be near the water too. If your child is in the water, you should be ankle-deep right behind them at the absolute minimum,” which is good advice for parents whose little ones are splashing about in the water.
2. Talk To The Lifeguard
Quinn also suggests talking with a lifeguard, if there’s one present. You can get knowledgeable information from them about what the current’s like that day, etc. You can also let them know that you’ve got small children—you know, just so they may keep an extra watchful eye on them. The more people you have looking out for your kids, the better.
3. Educate Your Kids
According to Stephen Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University, it’s never too early to start talking to your kids about beach safety. He goes through how to talk to elementary-age kids all the way to high school-age kids in a Time magazine article. While it’s important to talk to kids, it’s also crucial not to scare them.
“You don’t want to scare kids,” Leatherman told Time. “Beaches can be so much fun.”
4. Have Them Use Your Real Name
Joselle Shea, manager of children and youth initiatives at the National Crime Prevention Council, told Parents magazine that children should learn the first and last names of their caregivers so they’re not simply yelling out “mommy” or “daddy” into a crowd.
5. Write Information In A Place That Won’t Wash Off
As Simplemost previously reported, a police department in California previously shared tips for keeping your information written on your child’s body in a way that won’t easily wash off. This could be great to try out if you’re headed to the beach!