Before you head out the door, please make sure that you know what the surf conditions are like. If there’s a Red flag DO NOT go into the water. Set the kids up on the sand and get ready to build a few dozen sandcastles.

The South Walton TDC has made it super easy to find out surf conditions. Just text the word “Safety” to 31279. If you forget, look down the next time you cross a public walkover. They’ve built the notice into the walkover itself.

You also need to know about rip currents. These are strong (and scary) currents that pull strongly from the shore out to sea. If you accidentally swim into one, it feels like you are sucked out away from the beach. It’s scary and it is easy, and natural to panic. Please don’t. NOAA advises to swim, yell and swim parallel.

This handy reminder is also written on the walkover to help you remember. Please share this information with your children. Tell them to float on their backs and let the current take them out. Eventually the pull will release and they’ll be able to then swim to shore (or be rescued by a lifeguard).