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Water park packing essentials

Before you hit the water park, make sure you’re prepared to deal with wet clothes, tangled hair, the harsh rays of the sun and more!


Sure, you can buy sunscreen at the park gift shop or at a convenience store along the way, but you’ll pay plenty for it. Stock up on sunscreen before hand, taking advantage of coupons and sales, so you’ll be sure to have enough for several applications. Keep in mind that you should apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going out in the sun.

Zip-on sunscreen: Check out SwimZip, UV50+ swimwear for babies, toddlers and children. The suit zips for easy on and off (have you ever peeled a wet swimsuit off of a child?) and protects your kid’s shoulders, chest, back and tummy. Just lather a bit of sunscreen on your child’s face and let SwimZip do the rest. Prices range from $25 to $30 at

Sun Protection 101 >>

Cell phone protector

A cell phone is great for the water park because it enables you to stay in touch with your kids as everyone goes their own way. On the other hand, a cell phone sucks because a) it’s not waterproof and b) it’s easily lost or stolen. Even the most responsible kids may find it difficult to keep his or her cell phone (and money) safe and dry.

Waterproof solution: Pami Pocket is ideal for wet outings. This pouch hangs on the shoulder, stays put and keeps everything inside dry and sand-free. Just $15 at

7 Practical packing tips >>


Most moms wouldn’t encourage their little ones to get inked, but mom-of-three Michele Welsh hopes every youngster gets one of these fab identification tattoos. SafetyTat, says Welsh, is a “fun, just-in-case” solution for parents traveling with small children.

Welsh created Safety Tats, which are temporary safety tattoos for children. The tattoos are customized with a parent’s mobile phone number, so that if a parent and child are accidentally separated, a helpful adult can help reunite them quickly. Choose from a variety of tattoos at

Breastfeeding mom harassed at water park >>

Hair help

We’re glad that the communal pool is treated, but all of those cleaning chemicals can take a toll on hair, zapping it of moisture and leaving it unmanageable and prone to tangles.

Try Coco Cabana Sun Spray from Fairy Tales Hair Care to protect and revive the entire family’s hair. The lightweight formula creates a protective barrier around the delicate hair shaft to prevent knots and “swimmer’s hair,” that not-so-lovely shade of green that sometimes occurs. Buy it at Amazon , Ulta, or Fairy Tale Hair Care: about $10 for an 8-ounce spray.

Make sure your kids take cool down breaks >>

More summer travel advice

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Family-friendly summer events
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