Is there a better way to enjoy the summer than to spend a fun-filled day at the beach? We can't think of one and so, pack plenty of cold drinks, sunscreen, hats, and water and sand toys and head for the shore!
Packing for the Beach
A reliable cooler with enough cold packs is crucial for an all-day or somewhat lengthy stay at the beach. Fill it with drinks such as lemonade, decaf iced tea, sports drinks, and water. Soda, particularly caffeinated soda, does not hydrate as effectively as other beverages.
Pack sandwiches, fruit, and cookies in the cooler. Put these in plastic bags to keep them dry. Juicy, cooling fruit is a good choice for the beach.
Pack tote bags with beach towels, t-shirts that can get wet, hats, books, magazines, and beach toys.
Keeping Safe Under the Sun
The sun is at its most intense between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. all summer long. Try to seek shade for some of this time.
Sunscreen is the number-one priority at the beach. Insist that your children wear it at all times and set a good example yourself. Reapply it after they come out of the water. Pay attention to the tops of feet, backs of knees, and necks.
Use a sunscreen with a PF of at least 15. Those that contain PABA (para-amino-benzoic acid) are best.
Encourage children to drink plenty of fluids all day long. Water is the best choice. Fresh fruit and popsicles are good sources of liquid, too.
If the kids begin to look pink, pass out the hats and t-shirts. If their skin feels hot and they complain of being tired, make them get out of the sun for a while. Even when out of the sun, apply more sunscreen and make them wear hats and cover-ups.
As a rule, babies do not belong on the beach. Ever. Toddlers should always wear sunscreen, hats, and lose, light-colored clothing. Their time in the sun should be limited. They burn easily and will be miserable later on if they get too much sun.
Riding the Waves
Never swim alone and never let your children do so. Be sure you can see them at all times when they are in the water.
Even with your eyes on them, insist that your kids swim in view of the lifeguards, too. Don't let them swim beyond the safety buoys. None of this means you need to restrict fun. Have loads of it!