It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, a missing child. But try not to panic, stay calm and follow these steps.
Make a meeting point. As soon as you get to the beach choose a large landmark, such as a lifeguard’s tower, and tell your children that if you lose them that is where you meet.
Check if the beach has a child safety scheme. Some offer waterproof bands for children to wear with your telephone number on them, so if they get lost whoever finds them can call you.
Try not to panic – we know it is easier said that done but it’s important to think clearly.
Stop and look around before rushing off frantically.
Make sure someone is supervising your other children before you go searching.
Ensure one person stays in the same place at all times, in case your child comes back.
Notify the lifeguards, as well as other families around you, they may have seen something.
Have a recent photograph of your child to show people.
Check down by the sea and nearby roads first as these are the most dangerous places for children to be alone.
Check places children would like to be, such as icecream stands, food stalls, rides and public bathrooms.
Call your villa or hotel, older children may know their way back there.
Contact the local police and the police in the UK and ask them to inform UK National Central Bureau of Interpol, Interpol can contact the relevant foreign police.
International Child Abduction and Contact Unit
A central authority for international child abduction
020 7911 7045 7047
Out of hours number: 0116 2556 234
Reunite International Child Abduction Centre
A UK charity specializing in international parental child abduction
0116 2556 345