From applying the proper amount of sunscreen to taking a break in the shade, these 10 safety rules will help keep you and your family safe as you enjoy your trip to the beach together.
1. Only swim where there is a lifeguard present.
In addition to being there to rescue patrons, should the need arise, lifeguards are there to alert you to dangerous swimming conditions that would require you to stay out of the water. Teach your children to always listen to the instructions a lifeguard gives.
2. Lay out the rules.
Have a clear set of age appropriate rules and communicate them clearly to your children and have set consequences for breaking them. Rules may include no throwing sand, no splashing, and no going into the water alone.
3. Dress the kids in brightly colored hats.
On a crowded beach, it can be difficult to keep an eye on the kids even when they are only a few feet away. Insist that all of your children where the same brightly colored hats so that you can spot them easily.
4. Use sunscreen properly.
Sunscreen should be applied 15 to 30 minutes prior to heading outdoors so it has time to dry. It should be reapplied after swimming or sweating. It takes about 1 ounce of sunscreen to cover the body properly.
5. Stay hydrated.
Insist that the children take frequent water breaks. Staying hydrated can help prevent heat related illnesses.
6. Hit the shade.
Take time-out from the sun after playing for awhile. Head indoors for a bite to eat, hit the boardwalk for a walk or sit under an umbrella.
7. Have young children wear Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices.
Children who do not know how to swim should wear an appropriate life jacket when playing in or near the ocean.
8. Choose a meeting place.
Choose a landmark where you will all meet should someone get lost. A lifeguard chair can be a good meeting place.
9. Opt for bathing suits with a high UPF.
Consider purchasing a bathing suit and cover up for your child that offer sun protection. The higher the UPF number of the suit or cover-up, the greater degree of UV protection it offers.
10. Insist on sunglasses.
Protect your child’s eyes by insisting that they wear sunglasses that protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Heading the beach with kids in tow can be stressful, but if you follow these basic safety guidelines, you’ll maximize your safety and your fun in the sun.