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Does your family love spending time at the beach? Or are you planning your very first ever beach vacation? Either way, the beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the warm sun and cool water, but there are some hidden dangers lurking about. If you’re not careful, a trip to the beach can turn deadly in an instant. To keep your family safe while they have fun in the sun, here are a few safety tips for family trips to the beach to keep in mind.
Safety Tip #1: Use Life jackets.
Our first safety tip for family trips to the beach is to use life jackets. You can never be too careful when kids are playing in water. This is especially true when they are in the ocean.
Regardless of how well your children can swim, the ocean can be unpredictable. Between dropoffs, rip currents, and changing tides, something bad can happen in the blink of an eye.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Always put your kids in life jackets while they are swimming in the ocean or a lake. A life jacket will keep them afloat, even if something unexpected happens.
Life jackets can also buy you a few extra minutes to reach your child if he gets into trouble while in the water.
My son is an excellent swimmer for his age. He has taken swimming lessons every summer since he was an infant. He also goes swimming almost every day. Yet, he ALWAYS wears a life jacket any time he goes in the ocean.
Safety Tip #2: Protect Against the Sun.
While at the beach, the water isn’t the only thing that can harm you. You also need to protect yourself and your kids from the sun’s harmful rays. This means: wear sunscreen and hats.
Be sure to use waterproof sunscreen. Don’t forget to reapply every hour and a half or so.
I find that the spray sunscreen works best for applying to kids. Sunscreen sticks are wonderful for protecting faces and ears.
As for hats, pick ones with a wide brim, such as bucket hats. As an alternative to sunscreen, wear rash guards while at the beach.
Safety Tip #3: Wear Water Shoes.
Another safety tip for family trips to the beach is to wear water shoes to protect those little feet.
Water shoes can make it easier to walk on hot sand. Plus, they will help you to avoid getting cut from rocks, coral, or unseen pieces of glass that may be lurking in the water or sand.
Plus, if you put your kids in water shoes before leaving the car, you won’t have to keep track of their shoes once you get to the beach.
Safety Tip #4: Don’t Take Your Eyes Off Your Kids.
Please don’t underestimate the unpredictability of the ocean or the dangers that are inherent when you mix kids and water.
According to the American Red Cross, 10 people die in the United States each day from drowning and, on average 20% of them are under the age of 14. Additionally, for every child that fatally drowns, another five receive emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
Anytime children of any age are swimming or playing in the water, you need to watch them constantly. Even if your kids know how to swim, they could still fall and hit their head or get pulled out by a strong rip current.
Keeping your eyes on them at all times will ensure that if they do get into trouble, you are there to help them out.
Plus, this means you won’t miss a moment of their fun.
Safety Tip #5: Don’t Forget Stranger Danger.
If your beach trip takes you to a busy beach, such as Waikiki, you need to remind your kids of stranger danger safety rules.
When there are a lot of people on the beach, you can’t be sure if the person sitting next to you has ill intentions or not. This is another reason why it is so important to keep an eye on your kids at all times.
You also need to be sure your kids know to stay where you can see them and don’t walk off with a stranger. Be sure to teach your kids what exactly “stranger” means and what to do if someone tries to lure them away.
Going to the beach is a great way to have some quality family time. But, it’s important to watch out for hidden dangers that could spoil the fun.
Always put your kids in life jackets. Remember the sunscreen and hats, and watch out for strangers. The above simple safety tips for family trips to the beach can keep your kids safe while letting them enjoy the great outdoors.
I hope these tips help keep your days on the sand fun and carefree.
If you would like more travel safety tips, see our safety tips for airports, safety tips for hotels, safety tips for road trips, how to travel when it’s not safe to travel, and tips to stay healthy while traveling.
To read more on traveling with your kids, see our top reasons to travel with your kids, tips for successful road trips with kids, must have items when flying with kids, and how to include your kids in trip planning.