A day at the beach is supposed to be relaxing, right? Between sand, sunscreen and safety, you may be surprised at how much you have to keep track of when you bring kids to the beach. Don’t fret. With these simple beach safety tips, you can make the most of your day in the sun.
Nobody wants to be that lobster-colored tourist on vacation. Sunburns are painful at the time, and they also cause damage in the long run, putting you at risk for skin cancer and skin damage. Protect your skin and your kids’ delicate skin while having fun at the beach. When swimming and sweating, it’s important to reapply sunscreen often. Dress your kids in UV protective bathing suits and wide-brimmed hats and try to stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Remember to use sunscreen of at least SPF 15 on yourself and your children, and apply at least 30 minutes before you head outside.
Keep an eye on kids in the water. Be cautious about getting engrossed in a book or other distraction. The CDC reports that more than one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. Even strong youth swimmers need constant supervision at the beach. Younger kids should wear appropriate floatation devices with the understanding that floatation devices aren’t a substitute for supervision. Consider staying in the water with your children while they’re swimming and wading.
When you’re gazing out at the ocean, it’s hard to imagine becoming dehydrated. Don’t fall into that trap. Bring plenty of water when you play at the beach. Stop your kids frequently for quick water breaks and know the basic signs of heat stroke, including nausea, irregular breathing, confusion and headache. Pack a cooler with bottles of water, juice boxes and popsicles to help entice your little ones to stay adequately hydrated throughout the day. Set up a beach umbrella or tent to provide kids with a shady, cool place to rest.
Every beach region has unique qualities and unique dangers. Consult local forecasts for weather conditions, including threat of lightning, rip tides and dangerous surf. Be aware of wildlife that could pose a danger to you or your children. In some areas, stingrays and jellyfish must be avoided. Shark attacks aren’t common, but are something you should keep in mind, especially if you have teens heading out to play in deeper water. When possible, swim in areas supervised by qualified lifeguards who know how to respond to beach emergencies.
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