Beach and water safety

A dose of vitamin sea is good for the soul, but illness and injury can spoil your trip. If you're planning a trip to the coast before school starts up again, follow these tips to keep your beach days healthy and fun.

Do some digging

Before packing your bags, research the pollution levels at your vacation location. Contact the local environmental department or find details online.

Pack shore safety essentials

Everyone needs a hat, sunglasses, and sturdy shoes that hold up against the hot sand. If open water adventures are on the itinerary, take life jackets. And buy boatloads of sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)—it’s important to slather up even on cloudy days.

Beat the heat

When the sun is scorching, stay in the shade with a beach umbrella or canopy. Choose light-colored, loose-fitting clothing to help you stay cool. Plus, bring lots of water to keep the whole family hydrated.

Look for lifeguards

It’s easy to go with the flow of the waves, but make sure you always stay in view of the lifeguard. Also, don’t let your kids drift too far away from you. They should be within arm’s reach at all times.

Stay calm in the current

Your family should know how to handle rip currents. Swim in line with the shore, not straight at it.

Prep for a picnic

You’ve got the cooler, but don’t forget ice packs—cold foods should stay at or below 40 degrees. Bring along hand wipes and trash bags for easy clean up.

Watch the clock

If a perishable beach snack has been in the sun for more than two hours, it’s time to toss it. Throw it out after one hour if the outdoor temperature is pushing 90 degrees.

Keep your hands to yourself

Teach youngsters not to touch any animals on land or in the sea.

Social Distancing at the Shore

The COVID-19 pandemic affects our lives at home, at work, and yes, even at the beach. Before your trip, make sure everyone understands the extra precautions they need to take this summer:

If you aren’t vaccinated:

  • Stay 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you. The one exception: You don’t need to worry about spacing out or wearing masks around fully vaccinated friends.
  • Find a new spot on the beach or mask up when it gets too crowded for social distancing.
  • Don’t share toys or food with other families.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and an extra mask for each person in case theirs gets wet.
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