A SUCCESSFUL annual scheme which helps keep hundreds of children playing on Bournemouth beach safe during the busy summer months has been launched for 2011.

KidZone, which covers a four-and-a-half mile stretch of the seven-mile beach and is free for parents to use, helped reunite 156 lost children with their families last year.

It works by giving children free colour-coded wristbands that correspond to clearly marked sections of the beach. Families sit in the marked sections and write their contact telephone numbers on the wristbands, which helps beach staff reunite them with their lost children. More than 60 pupils from Corpus Christi school in Bournemouth attended the launch, where lifeguards from the Royal National Lifeboat Association gave a lesson on beach safety.

Andrew Glatter, head of corporate social responsibility at Liverpool Victoria, which is sponsoring KidZone 2011 and has been involved with the project since 1996, said: “Bournemouth has one of the largest and most beautiful stretches of beach on the south coast.

“With so much to play on it is no wonder that adventurous children get separated from their families at times.”