by Victoria Armijo
When driving is allowed at the beach:
- Don’t allow your child to return to the car without an adult.
- Look both ways when crossing; drivers are easily distracted at the beach.
- Do not visit during college party times, like spring break.
- Consider finding a no-driving zone to completely eliminate the danger of vehicles on the beach.
- Bring SPF 50 sunscreen for the kids, and reapply every hour to make sure it hasn’t washed away.
- Bring a UV umbrella or tent if you have smaller children. Sunscreen is great, but it won’t completely protect you from the sun all day long.
- Have your child wear a hat to protect their face and head from getting sunburned. Yes, you read that right – protect their head! I can tell you from experience that a child’s sunburned top of the head is not fun!
- Put your child in a rash guard shirt if you they burn easily.
- When looking for a beach spot, make sure to look out for holes and fill them immediately. They may not seem dangerous, but there are many stories of holes turning into quick sand, collapsing, and burying children and adults within seconds. So take precaution. If you dig a hole to play in, please make sure to fill the hole before leaving.
- Bring something for your child to sit on so they can rinse off after playing in the sand. There are many harmful bacteria in beach sand – and if your child has an exposed cut, make sure to add some antibacterial lotion and cover with a band-aid.
- Have your child wear sunglasses. Even cheap ones will do the trick of keeping the sun and sand out of your child’s eyes.
Rip Tides Protection:
- Know what a rip tide looks like.
- Talk to the lifeguard before heading into the water, and ask if there have been any rip tides recently.
- Teach your child how to swim diagonally toward shore if caught in a rip current.
- Know your child’s swimming strengths. If you know they are not a strong swimmers, have them stay close to the shore where both feet touch the sand.
- Bring beach toys to entertain the kids. The beach is great, but sometimes kids just need to be able to sit and play.
- Know when your child is done for the day. You don’t want to keep them out in the sun longer than is good for them. Believe me, it’s NOT worth it.
- Bring extra snacks and drinks. You never know when that wave will come in and wash away your little one’s snack.
- Bring extra towels and a change of clothes, just in case.
The more prepared you are when visiting the beach with your children, the more fun you and your family will have!