When you head out for a day on the beach, you might not want to take selfies immediately. Maybe you’ll want to get an ice cream, or go for a paddle.
But Essex Police have urged beach-goers to take a picture of their children as soon as they arrive, as an up to date image is crucial if a child goes missing.
A spokesperson told Essex Live that a photo of the child from the same day could be a ‘massive help’ to emergency services who may be called upon to find a lost child.
They added: ‘An up to date photo of your children, including what they are wearing that day, will be a massive help to the Coastguard and other emergency services if you report your children as missing.
‘Children are notorious for wandering off and going on adventures without telling anyone. They are usually only missing for a very short time but seconds count.’
Essex Police have also advised against parents sharing those photos to social media, even though it might be tempting to share a fun day out with family and friends.
Read more: 14 handy beach hacks every mum should know
They said: ‘Keep these photos private and don’t post them to social media as it highlights that your house may be empty but could also be used for malicious reasons at the beach.’
To highlight how important this is, HM Coastguard revealed that popular holiday spots such as Devon and Cornwall could see up to 40 lost child cases in a single day, so it’s important professionals know what your child looks like currently to help locate them.
The simple act of taking a photo either with or of your children could be a massive help, so parents should consider doing this next time they head down to the beach. It’s also a great way to remember a fun day out, so it’s worth doing!