Question for Mommabear and other Floridians...

sadiesmom

This question is early but I wanted to get it answered before the membership/fees kick in. We are already starting to think about our vacation to Florida (West Palm Beach)coming up in June (we haven't been for 2 years) and I have a question for you: After the high number of shark attacks last summer, are you "locals" still letting your kids play in the water? I normally am not paranoid at all but all the news from last summer has really got me thinking about it. My DH and I scuba dive and that doesn't worry me a bit, but I am wondering if we should restrict our kids (9 and 6) to the beach and confine their swimming to the pool? They loved to play in the water and are already talking about riding the waves on their knee board and snorkeling. I haven't said anything to them yet--don't want to scare them. How do you natives handle the issue.

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Mommabear

There haven't been more shark attacks than usual. There has just been more media coverage of the shark attacks than usual. I will try to see if I can find an article, but I recall the local paper having an article last summer about this but I am not sure if I can find it online.

My kids love the beach. We do not go to the beach in the winter (to crowded, to cold, etc.) but I am sure that we will go to the beach at least once during our spring break in April. My oldest son is a little apprehensive because he reads the newspapers. My middle doesn't read that well yet (he's 5) and my baby is still a toddler so he can't really form his own opinion.

I will see if I can find something for you.

Mommabear

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gingersnap

We have not changed our habits over the reports. Last summer we snorkeled in the Bahamas with the Disney cruise. My youngest was 8 and I just stayed shoulder to shoulder with him. Also, Disney watches the water the entire time you're out there. I would be a little aprehensive if one of them was bleeding for any reason (they are boys after all). I have instructed them not to panic if they see a shark etc. You certainly don't want to be in the water near anyone fishing which I believe is what happened when the boy was attacked last year. Remove all jewelry, they can be attracted to shiny things thinking they are little fish. I would let them in the water though, just be aware...and have fun!

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whazzup

Mommabear is absolutely right. Statistically, this past summer was no worse than any other. The media just didn't have anything else to talk about. After the WTC attack, the shark stories disappeared from the news. I go to New Smyrna, Cocoa and Daytona Beach with no problems at all.

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discotrish

Keep in mind that most shark attacks occur at dawn and dusk which is their feeding time. That Jessie kid got attacked at dusk. I'd avoid those times.

Trish

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sadiesmom

OK--thanks. I feel better now. I thought I remembered the media talking about the *record #* of shark attacks but there seems to be a consensus that it was mostly media hype. So, I will encourage my kid's excitement and not worry...Thanks again
Sadiesmom

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