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We live on an island. Literally. We are close to the beach and we take full advantage. We love it as a family. There’s just something really amazing about it all. It’s funny that I love it so much since I never ever went as a kid, but the sound of the waves, the sun, the seagulls, the salt air. It’s just dope.

One thing is for sure, though, you have to be careful. Those waves and rip currents are mighty. When you have your kids, you have to be on high alert all the time, even when they are good swimmers. Plus, I have Irish skin…so we have to watch out for those sun rays, too!!! There are so many various beach safety tips when it comes to bringing the kids to the beach this summer. Parents have it rough when it comes to taking kids to the beach because you want to make sure they are safe from drowning, safe from the sun UV rays and safe from strangers. A parent’s job never ends and that holds true even on a relaxing beach day. Here are 5 ways to keep your kids safe at the beach:

Life Vests/Floating Devices

If your child is young and still isn’t a master swimmer, then try to be certain to place some form of a floating device on them. If you are at a lake beach, they can often simply have a floaty tub and arm floaties to work to keep them upright. When at the ocean for a beach day, further precautions should be taken into consideration due to tides rolling in. Be certain to purchase life vests and floating devices for any child who hasn’t become a master swimmer.

Broad Spectrum Sun Screen

Always apply a broad spectrum sun screen to your children. This helps reduce the impact of the sun’s dangerous UV rays. Sure your child may not develop skin cancer now, but too much exposure at a young age has been proven to create an issue with skin cancer later on in life. In addition to sun screen, but sure your kids have sunglasses that protect their eyes from the UV rays. There are many products out there, get which ones are best for your family.

Sit in the Shade/Bring An Umbrella

Allowing your kids to get a break out of the sunshine will keep them from experiencing heat stroke. Be certain to have lots of water with you on beach days so that the kids can maintain proper hydration levels. Water and shade will help make the full beach day a pleasurable one for the kids and parents. Plus it’s your job to ensure the kids get breaks so that they don’t shrivel up into prunes.

We always bring one or two beach umbrellas with us. It takes up little space but makes a huge difference. There’s always shade this way.

Set Rules & Boundaries

Often times there are flags or other boundaries set forth by the beach life guards and officials, but as a parent you know how well your kid can swim or not. Be certain to discuss any rules you have and boundaries to how far they can swim out before they hit the water. This helps the kids understand what you expect and what will happen if they don’t follow these rules. As with any situation, setting rules beforehand often alleviate mishaps and bad behavior.

Sign Language

No, I am not talking about actual sign language, but hand gestures that signal when you want the kids to come closer to shore or in from swimming altogether. Often times at the beach the noises are so loud that kids can’t hear you yelling to them. Create hand gestures that signify that the kids need to come to shore, stop and not go further, etc. This allows you to remain in communication with kids while they are out swimming.

Above all, being safe at the beach with kids is all about having open communication and knowing how well your kids can swim. Keep an eye out and try to swim only in locations that have life guards so you have some extra help in ensuring your kids can be safe if a mishap occurs.

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