Lifeguard provide ID bracelets for children at beach

By Marques White - Reporter , Jason Mealey - Producer/assignment editor

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Children get separated from their parents at the beach dozens of times every summer.   Lifeguards at Jacksonville Beach say it is more likely to happen on the Fourth of July, which is one of their busiest weekends of the year.

This weekend lifeguards started releasing ID bracelets to make sure kids get reunited quickly with their parents if they do get separated.

"It's terrifying for the parents for the first couple minutes," said Red Cross volunteer Timothy Kline.

Lifeguards say it's something that isn't easy for children either. They say it only takes a few moments for a child to get lost.

"It's not frightening for the kids until they realize they're lost. Kids usually end up seeing a lifeguard chair and use that as their landmark. When they start walking down 10 or 15 yards down the beach they see the next lifeguard station north or south of them and end up walking to that one," said Kline.

That is one of the reason lifeguards came up with the ID bracelet.

"It's just like any other bracelet you'd get. Take a sharpy, you can write parents name and phone number. Anybody who finds a child or sees some frantically looking looking for a child, they can look and call the parent directly. Or they can bring the child to a lifeguard tower," said Kline.

If parents don't want to provide their name and phone number, the phone number to reach lifeguards is already listed on the bracelet so people can call that number if they find a child who is searching for their parents.

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