Gear Up for Safety

For your next family trip to the beach, here are some precautions to follow and ideas for equipment to make and take.


On large beaches it's easy for kids (and parents) to lose track of the family's spot. For an easy marker, make a family flag.

What You Need:

  • Old pillowcase or piece of nylon
  • Broomstick
  • Fabric paints
  • Staple gun or strong tape

Instructions:

1. Paint your family name and some designs on the flag. You might use decorations that are meaningful to family members, such as school colors, sports logos, hobbies, etc.

2. Attach the to an old broomstick. Use a staple gun or strong tape.

3. Keep it handy for your next family outing. Put it in the trunk and keep it there for beach outings, camping, soccer games, reunions, picnics, and other family events.

Include an inflatable wading pool with your beach supplies for little ones who aren't big enough to brave the waves but still want to splash in the water.

What You Need:

  • Inflatable pool
  • Portable hand pump
  • Small pails

Instructions:

1. Set the pool up near your beach chairs.

2. Enlist a bucket brigade to provide the water.

More Ideas:

  • Never leave the child unattended in the pool.
  • Make sure you provide shade: the water's reflection adds to the sun's intensity. A beach umbrella works wonderfully.
  • If you leave the area for a while and return, make sure the water hasn't gotten too hot before you put baby in the pool.
  • Provide lots of sand and water toys for hours of fun in and around the water.

Pack a washable backpack with everything you need for the beach but tend to forget:

  • First-aid items
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip protection
  • Insect repellent
  • Bottle of water
  • Disposable wipes
  • Hats, sunglasses, extra towels, long-sleeve beach coverups

More Ideas:

  • Keep an extra set of car keys in the bag for accidental lockouts.
  • Don't forget a nonperishable snack and your favorite magazine.
  • Take along lots of beverages (even just plain water) to prevent dehydration.
  • Keep your survival kit in the car for frequent trips, and place it under a chair or in a shady spot at the beach to help keep the items inside from melting.
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