We love going to the beach, but we also want to make sure our little ones stay safe, happy, and healthy. Sun stroke, sun burn, and other risks can turn a fun day at the beach into a nightmare outing. Here’s how you can keep baby safe at the beach:
Most experts discourage the use of sunscreen for babies younger than 6 months — their thin, delicate skin is too sensitive to handle the chemicals.
Babies older than 6 months can use sunscreen, but let’s face it, they probably shouldn’t spend too much time in the sun, even with sunscreen.
- Find a shaded spot
- Use a Beach Umbrella, Beach Tent, or sunshade
- Bring a Sun Hat, Baby Sunglasses,
and other sun protectors
- Have the baby/little ones wear a rashguard/sunshirt
- Avoid the bad hours of 10am to 2 pm
- Reapply sunscreen regularly
For most adults, sand is no big deal, but for that sensitive baby skin it can really grate and be painful and unpleasant.
- Cornstarch! Bring it along, and when you are done at the beach, sprinkle it on them, then rub it off. A trick for rubbing it off quickly is using a big paint brush. You could use baby powder too, but cornstarch is safer if it gets in their mouth/eyes etc.
- Beach friendly blankets are also a great idea. I got this Beach Blanket, which is a vinyl backed one that folds up into a bag, I love it, as it keeps baby off the sand, but doesn’t track a bunch of sand back into my house or car, and is so easy to transport.
Entertainment is important for keeping baby safe. They are less likely to wander or go in too deep if they have things to keep them occupied.
- Sand Toys-Sand toys, normal toys, bring some toys to spark creativity. A bucket can occupy a toddler on the beach for hours.
- Baby Bath Tub-This is the perfect way to keep baby safe and entertained. Bring a plastic baby bath tub, and fill it with ocean water. They can play and enjoy the whole experience without those big waves carrying them away or splashing their faces.
Safety should not preclude comfort. You can add to a child’s safety while keeping them comfortable:
- Keep aloe and sunscreen in the cooler. It will feel really nice on their hot skin when you reapply, and they will fight reapplication less.
- Bring sippy cups, bottles, and beverages. Hydration is key to avoiding problems like sun stroke, and it will help baby stay happy. Bring their favorite beverage, lots of water, and a cooler to keep it cold and refreshing.
- Blankets and towels are a must for drying off and getting warm.
- Bring a car seat, pillows, or something for if they are tired.
- Shade, hand held fan, etc. Babies might get hot, so keep them cool and happy with hand held fans and a spot of shade.
Check conditions. Are there strong rip tides, jelly fish, or anything else that could be a concern?
Don’t spend all day. As much fun as that is, a few hours here and there is much better and safer for baby.
Keep an eye out. Be vigilant with your baby’s safety by keeping an eye on them. It might be tempting to lay out, read a book, or even take a nap, but it only takes a split second for baby to get in trouble.
What do you do to keep your little ones safe on the beach? Tell us on Facebook or in the comments.