ChildSafe Beaches Project


Let’s keep our beaches ChildSafe: Follow these 7 Tips to protect children!


WESSA has partnered with the Childhood Foundation and Friends International in order to introduce the ChildSafe Movement to South African shores. The ChildSafe Beaches Project is integrated into our Beach Stewards programme and aims to improve the protective environment for children in and around popular coastal tourism sites by adopting and adapting the award winning ChildSafe methodology. The 7 Tips for ChildSafe Beaches is an awareness campaign that is being implemented during the festive season on the Durban Blue Flag Beaches. Follow these 7 Tips to protect children at our Durban beaches!

Here are the 7 Tips in more detail

Tip 1: THINK! Children need supervision to remain safe

Unsupervised children face multiple risks if left alone or without family protection and guidance. Drowning or other accidents can occur, as can getting lost and exposure to ill-intentioned strangers. They may also face health risks like dehydration, sunstroke and sunburn. While visiting and enjoying the beach, it’s essential for parents or caregivers to communicate with children some basic safety instructions and to always ensure they are supervised by responsible adults.’ Make sure children are protected from the sun and have access to water. Make sure children know what to do if they get lost, such as finding a responsible adult to help or if old enough to memorize their caregiver’s numbers.


At certain Durban beaches, parents or caregivers can register & tag their children when arriving at the beach with the assistance of Beach Guides. Lost or distressed children can be taken to the designated ‘Separated Children’ tent if available at the beach site. Beach guides and Blue Flag Beach Stewards (wearing blue T shirts) are there to help!

Tip 2: THINK! Children pay a price for your generosity- don’t give to begging children

When you give money, food or gifts to begging children you encourage them to continue begging on the streets or beaches and stay out of school. Sometimes children beg on behalf of adults, so by supporting them you are perpetuating their exploitation.


Instead of giving to street children, you can donate to organizations that support vulnerable children, youth and families. uMthombo Street Children, Surfers not Street Children, Child Welfare Durban & District, Tennyson House and I Care are organizations in Durban that would really appreciate your donation!

Tip 3: THINK! Don’t drink or do drugs around children!

Drinking on the beach is illegal! People using alcohol and drugs around children are less vigilant, posing serious safety risks, especially on and around the beach. Swimming or playing water sports under the influence of alcohol and drugs is very dangerous and can be deadly! People can also behave badly, even violently, which creates poor role models for children.


YOU can save lives! Do not drink or take drugs at the beach. Do not swim or take children for watersports if you consume alcohol or drugs. If you witness a situation where a child or group of children is attended by intoxicated adults or if children themselves seem intoxicated, keep a close eye on the situation and report to the nearest lifeguard or police station.

Tip 4: THINK! End violence against children

Children are still too often victims of physical, sexual and emotional violence. Including beating, hitting, pinching, insulting, bullying, threatening or humiliating children. Physical abuse is sometimes used as punishment and that can have lifelong consequences on the health and development of children. Sexual violence against children includes forced, pressured, coerced, unwanted or unlawful sexual activity with a girl or boy under 18 years of age, or attempts to do this.


Please report suspect cases of abuse! See the Contact Information at the bottom of the page.

Tip 5: THINK! Sex with children is a crime- Report sex tourism

Sex tourism is a devastating reality, perpetrated by both domestic and regional travelers. It happens in bars, hotels, vacation rentals, entertainment venues and through online platforms and the social medias. While on holiday, you may be approached and offered sex with children. When visiting places of adult entertainment, you may also interact with under aged boys and girls.


Please report suspect cases of abuse! See the Contact Information at the bottom of the page.

Tip 6: THINK! Children should not be at work instead of school – report child Labour

Some children sell goods on or around the beach, along roads and other busy sites. Others may be employed in beach restaurants, hotels, bars and entertainment venues. During the holidays, children aged 15 – 17 (under 18) can work as long as it’s not hazardous or harmful to their well-being and children under the age of 15 can work in performing arts if they have a permit from the Department of Labour.


Please report suspect cases of abuse! See the Contact Information at the bottom of the page.

Tip 7: THINK! Keep our planet ChildSafe – protect the environment

When visiting the beach, you want to enjoy the beautiful environment and so do children and communities living nearby. As our collective future is at risk from climate change, pollution and other negative human-made impacts, think how you can take positive steps to protect this environment so that current and future generations will have beautiful beaches to enjoy.


While visiting the beach, be mindful of your actions and how they impact the environment and support​ initiatives that protect our coast. Don’t litter, rather use the bins provided or take your waste with if no bins. Littering does not create jobs! To report water pollution complaints and emergencies, eThekwini Municipality’s Pollution and Environment department can be contacted 080 13 13 013 or SMS: 083 707 301.

Contact Information


If you see or suspect such a situation, it is your legal responsibility to report it. Suspected cases of abuse can be reported to:


Childline: 0800 055 555

Child Welfare Durban & District: 031 3129313

or the Police 10111


We are all responsible for protecting children. Share these 7 Tips, follow us on social media #childsafebeachesdurban2020