Going to the Beach with Your Children

May 8, 2019
Going to the beach is always fun for children. Whether it's their first time or they're expert wave surfers, the trip will require equal preparation and safety measures against the water and the sun.

Long gone are the days in which all you needed to go to the beach was just putting on your swimsuit and some sandals and carrying a cooler with sandwiches and drinks. Now, going to the beach with your kids can be quite the production. It doesn’t just have to be an unforgettable experience, but also a safe one.

If you take a baby, the responsibility is even greater. This is especially because you have to try to protect their delicate skin from the intense sun.

If your children are older and already have experience with the ocean, then in addition to taking care of their skin, you must remain extra vigilant. Keeping an eye on them while they play among themselves or other new friends is important to be able to spend a great day at the beach.

In any case, for them, the fun will start as soon as they can wet their feet!

Going to the Beach with Your Children

Two children under water.
By taking certain precautions, you can have a great and safe day at the beach with your children.

Going to the beach with children requires some planning. Of course, the planning will be more complex if you go on vacation for several days as opposed to a day-trip. In the same manner, it won’t be difficult.

Take note of the following tips and precautions when going to the beach.

1. Make a List

Ideally, you should make a list of everything you’ll need to have before going to the beach with your children. Then, start crossing it out as soon as every item makes it to the bag – or bags – you plan to take. Keep it simple and pack light.

You can sort it all out by categories such as clothing, underwear, toys, beach must-haves, hygiene, and food and drink. Include any medications you may need, especially if you’ll spend the night away from home. In addition, save your list: it will make your work easier on any future trips!

2. Select Your Beach

Going to the beach is a great way to expose your children to nature. That’s why you’ve got to find the perfect one.

Your travel plan should include a list of beaches that are suitable for children. It should have calm ocean waves and clear swimming spots. Also, it should have services such as access to fresh water and bathrooms, and perhaps even a restaurant or food service. (This will simplify your meal preparations.)

Then, if there’s a lifeguard on site, you’ve found the perfect beach.

Read more: Six Tips to Protect Your Lips from the Sun

3. Get There Early

Going to the beach with the kids is super exciting, so getting up early to leave on time won’t be a problem for anyone. Pack a simple breakfast you can all eat during the trip there and plenty of drinking water. After all, the first ones to get there usually get the best spots.

Find a good location near the water so you can always have a direct view of your children while they play in the waves.

4. Dress Children in Colorful Outfits

In order to facilitate your view of where your children are at any given moment, especially on crowded beaches, it’s best to dress them in colorful outfits. You can also give them hats which, in addition, will protect them from the sun.

This way, you’ll be able to find them immediately.

5. Keep an Eye on Them

Going to the beach: A child playing in the sand.

Pay close attention to them at all times, even if your children are older and are swimming champions who can ride the waves on their own. Don’t take your eyes away from them for too long.

The same applies to toddlers who are learning to walk, even if they’re just wetting their feet on the shore and/or using a personal floating device. Not only will you be able to help them if they need you, but you’ll be able to see how happy they are and save it in your memories forever.

6. Protect Children from the Sun

When you get to the beach, apply sunscreen on everyone immediately. Encourage them to wear hats, although some children will resist. Do your best to make hat-wearing fun.

Add more sunscreen every two hours or every time they come out of the water.

Don’t forget to apply it to their feet, ears, and on the back of their legs. Around noon, they can wear a t-shirt to double the protection. However, the best course of action is to stay in the shade for a while in order to avoid heat stroke.

7. Limit Your Alcohol Consumption

Preferably, you should stay away from cocktails during your beach day with the children, and save them for the end of the day.

However, if you must have them then limit your consumption to just a couple of them. Remaining 100% conscious of the laughter and cheer of your children playing in the sand is a lot more intoxicating.

8. Remain Well Hydrated

While children will reject anything that steals their moments of fun, you must encourage them to drink water every hour or even just eat some fruit to keep them well-hydrated.

Sippy cups are perfect for this purpose, as they will allow them to drink as fast as they want. While they’re at it, apply more sunscreen.

Also, carry some extra water to wash away sand from all sorts of body parts. However, if you forget, then you can do the same with ocean water as you prepare to go back home, especially if your beach doesn’t have fresh running water.

You may be interested: 6 Simple Tips to Keep Your Skin Hydrated

9. Pack Individual Snacks

Packing food individually is very practical for going to the beach with children. Give a sandwich, a couple of pieces of fruit and some nuts and seeds or dry fruits to each one and maybe even some crackers.

Take along some small plastic cups in which to serve food snacks. You may also want to include fruit and vegetable salads, and even some made with pasta or shredded meats.

10. Organize Fun GamesGoing to the beach: Two children challenging each other's strength.

When your kids are finally tired of building sandcastles (they will), try playing other games.

For example, you can play treasure hunting. In addition, playing shark in the water is always a hit among children. (Of course, you must be the “bad” shark that chases its prey into the sea.) Body surfing is also fun, especially for older children.

Another fun game is letting children bury you in the sand. Then, get up like a sea monster and run for a while before giving yourself a good dip.

Always have a pale for water. Filling it and emptying it in the sand is very fun for little ones.

11. Establish Rules and Behavior Expectations

Also, establish references for your location while at the beach. If you settled near the lifeguard stand, that will be an unforgettable indication for them. Otherwise, a flag or umbrella can work. This is utterly important on busy beaches.

With older children, establishes limits on how deep they can swim. Common sense indicates that they stay where the water doesn’t cover their shoulders. Regardless of how good they can swim, the ocean is very different from swimming in a pool. Plus, there’s an undertow to consider.

12. Relax and Enjoy Going to the Beach

Try to find a few moments of relaxation, whether it’s when another parent or family member can relieve you off duty, or perhaps when the baby is napping. With older children, you can just ask them to sit on the seashore and watch what others are doing, or just enjoy how the water wets their feet.

Don’t leave the beach without making sure to enjoy it, too. It’s very likely that you’ll be exhausted from the ride, but also very satisfied and happy.

  • Bouvier, Luc. “Proteger los ojos de los niños cada dia con Crizal R Prevencia R Version Junior.” Points de Vue 71 (2014): 70-6.
  • Kitchel, Elaine. “Ultravioleta A, la luz azul y los niños.” (1999).
  • Ramírez Wong, Elizabeth, et al. “Protección solar en niños.” Revista Médica Electrónica 38.2 (2016): 177-184.