Keeping Your Preschooler Safe at the Beach

Most children love the water. On a hot afternoon in the middle of the summer, there may be nothing better than taking your preschooler to the beach. There are, however, a few precautions that you and your child should take.

  • Apply sunscreen.

Before you even head to the beach, apply sunscreen to your child (as well as to yourself). Preferably, find a sunscreen lotion that is specially formulated for children and that is water-resistant.

Apply the sunscreen before you leave the house, making sure to include the hands, feet, ears, and back of the neck. A sunscreen stick can be used to easily apply sunscreen to the facial area. Helps to protect without the danger of getting it in the eyes.

A sunscreen spray can be useful for the top of the head. Use a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF and reapply as needed. Sunscreen should only be applied to children older than six months.

If a rash or redness develops where sunscreen is applied, clean the area. Consult with your doctor to discuss a possible allergic reaction.

  • Wear a hat.

A hat with a brim all the way around can provide extra protection from the sun for the head, face, and neck.

With the health risks that are connected to sunburns and suntans, you need extra protection.

It is wise to always wear a hat while outside in the sun. Since young children are prone to removing hats, consider buying one with a strap.

  • Go to a guarded beach.

Lifeguards are there to save lives. Hopefully you will never need the services of a lifeguard, but it’s best to be near one just in case. Heed any instructions the lifeguard may give you and your child.

  • Use floatation devices.

Water wings or “floaties,” worn at the beach by many preschoolers, are inflatable armbands that will help keep your child afloat in case of an emergency.

Or, for additional protection, a size-appropriate life jacket can be used. Kick boards can be useful for their floatation capability as well as for teaching your child to swim. For infants and toddlers, use swim diapers.

You can also purchase floating water seats with a canopy to be used by babies.

  • Always stay with your child.

Even if your child is just splashing around in shallow water, you should be there with him or her. Otherwise, you might become distracted or be unable to respond quickly enough if something unfortunate happens.

Adhering to these basic rules can literally mean the difference between life and death.

The beach can be a fun place for you to create memories with your child. Taking the proper precautions can ensure those memories are positive.

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