If you are heading to the beach with your kids for the first time this summer, you may have some concerns about child safety.
Heading to the coast with your little ones does take some extra planning then a solo trip would. There are, however, some easy things you can do to ensure that your kids are staying safe while they enjoy some fun in the sun. Keep reading for our four essential safety tips that you need to hear before your child’s first day at the beach.
Application of sunscreen is going to be one of the most important things you do for your child while at the beach. Make sure you apply an initial layer before you head out for the day and pack extra sunscreen so you can reapply as needed. There are plenty of child-safe sunscreen options on the market for you to choose from. Also, consider if you want a separate formula to put on their face. Sunscreen sticks can be more comfortable for a child’s face than a spray or thick lotion.
If your child is less than thrilled about wearing sunscreen, try to give them options so they feel more in control of the situation. You can give them the choice between a lotion or a spray to help keep them involved. You can also have them help rub it in (as long as you ensure it is even.) Let them know that the sunscreen is what allows them to stay at the beach all day without painful sunburns.
In addition to regular application of sunscreen, you will also want to provide additional barriers from the sun such as rash guards or sun hats. Waterproof sunscreen isn’t going to be effective if you have a child that wants to spend their whole day in the water. Consider a long sleeve water top to help protect their skin while swimming. A sun hat and a pair of children’s sunglasses can also be incredibly helpful. You should also provide them a space where they can relax out of the sun completely. An umbrella or canopy will help keep kids and adults comfortable while at the beach. It is important to allow everyone a space to take breaks out of the sun.
Depending on your child’s age and swimming ability, you will want to have floaties for them. Young children with little to no swimming ability should have water wings or a floatie that they can sit in with constant adult supervision. Older children usually enjoy pool floats or noodles when swimming in the ocean. These are not only fun for them, but they also help keep them safe and afloat when the waves come in.
Regardless of your child’s age and ability, you should always keep your children within sight when they are swimming in the ocean. The waves usually push swimmers horizontally down the beach so your kids can quickly end up out of your sight. Additionally, most beaches have signs posted to notify beach goers of the water conditions. If there is a high chance of rip currents that day, it may be best to stay in the shallowest parts of the water with your kids when they swim. It is also important to make sure that your kids are staying away from obstacles like piers or rocks, as currents can be especially strong around them.
Public beaches have lifeguards stationed all down the coast. Try to find an area that is nearby one of the lifeguards for added security. Pay attention to the flags and signs that they update during the day to notify swimmers about marine life and weather conditions. Read the rules with your children and make sure they understand how to follow them before they head out for their first swim.
Food and Water
Make sure that you provide plenty of water for your little ones during the day and avoid sugary drinks like soda. Provide electrolyte enhanced drinks like Gatorade if you struggle to get your kids to drink enough water. Staying hydrated is important to avoid heat exhaustion, especially for active kids.
You also want to make sure to have plenty of non-perishable snacks on hand. Things like dried fruit, peanut butter sandwiches or trail mix are perfect for the beach. Sandwiches with cold-cuts or mayo may not fare as well in the sun, so try to avoid these.
Off to the Beach!
Keeping your kids safe at the beach doesn’t have to come with stress. If you follow these simple tips and tricks, then your little ones are sure to have a fantastic first time at the beach. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures, reapply sunscreen, and have an amazing time at the beach!