Are you planning on heading out to the beach this summer with your little one? Taking babies and toddlers to the beach can be a great way to spend the hot summer months. After spending what feels like forever stuck indoors, now’s the perfect time to get out, enjoy the great outdoors and just as importantly – regain your sanity!
However, as beneficial as it can be spending time at the beach with your baby or toddler, it can also turn into a nightmare situation if you don’t plan ahead. So, before you head out on your day trip to the beach, below you’ll discover some top baby and toddler beach safety tips you should absolutely follow.
Don’t Forget The Sunscreen!
Ok, so this one is pretty obvious, but there’s a few things to consider when it comes to buying and applying sunscreen to your little one.
Firstly, always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. However, it isn’t recommended using one above SPF 50. This is because although you’d assume they were safer, these higher strength sunscreens don’t provide the same level of sun protection as some of the lower strengths due to the skewed balance of UVA vs UVB protection. Fortunately, plenty of baby-friendly sunscreen is available on Amazon.
It’s also worth avoiding applying the sunscreen to your baby’s hands as it will most definitely end up getting in their little mouth! Don’t forget to keep topping up the sunscreen every couple of hours too, to ensure day-long protection.
Be Careful Of The Sand
When you think about beach safety, you typically think about the dangers of the water and the sun. However, did you know the sand can cause potential problems too?
One of the biggest dangers of sand is its ability to get absolutely everywhere, including your little one’s eyes. It may feel nice and soft on the feet, but grains of sand can cause a lot of pain, irritation and damage if they get into the eyes. So, be sure to keep an eye on your baby or toddler to ensure they don’t accidentally rub it into their eyes.
Another potential hazard you may not have thought about, is that the sand can burn the feet. Under the harsh, hot sun, sand can become very hot so it’s best to ensure your child is wearing sandals or even water shoes, rather thanwalking around with bare feet.
Make Sure There’s Plenty Of Shade
While you obviously want to make the most of the sun, it’s important to limit your baby and toddler’s exposure at certain times of the day. Between 11am and 3pm is when the sun really peaks, so ensuring there is plenty of shade on the beach is essential.
If you haven’t already got one, it’s worth investing in a beach umbrella. That way, your little one can play safely in the shade. You can also ensure they wear a hat to protect the scalp and shade the eyes at peak times.
Babies under the age of six months are especially in need of shade due to the fact that they aren’t yet old enough to wear the same amount of sunscreen as older babies.
Consider Using A Windbreak
A windbreak is a fantastic piece of equipment to take to the beach. It’s especially useful at keeping adventurous toddlers in one place! It also helps to provide privacy, which is great if you’re breastfeeding or you simply want a little quiet time on a busy beach.
Of course, they also help to shelter you from the wind and from sand potentially blowing all over you and your little one.
Choosing The Right Beachwear
When it comes to beach clothing, you do need to consider safety before heading out.
As babies under the age of six months need to be covered up or kept in the shade a lot, there’s a chance on a cooler day they could end up too cold. So, you might want to consider dressing baby in slightly warmer clothing than you typically would if they were in direct sunlight.
Toddlers on the other hand would benefit from lightweight, long sleeved clothing. Even with sunscreen on, it can be difficult to prevent burns, so the long sleeve top will help to give your toddler an extra sun protection layer. You can actually buy UV suits for toddlers too so this might be a better option if you can find one.
It’s also worth taking a few long sleeve t-shirts and a couple of changes of clothing. This is because there’s a high chance clothing can get wet, or stained at the beach so it helps to have a spare change or two of clothes just in case. Also, if you plan on going into the water with your little one, their body temperature can drop quite a lot when they come back out. So, having some long t-shirts and a change of warmer clothes can help to ensure they stay safe and comfortable.
Beware Of Jellyfish
It’s possible you and your inquisitive toddler could come across a jellyfish on the beach. What you may not realize is that it’s possible for jellyfish to sting, even if they aren’t in the water. Naturally, your toddler is going to want to investigate this awesome looking creature, so it’s important to make sure they know not to touch it.
If you or your toddler are stung, the best thing to do is to apply hot water to the area. This may not be easy to do on the beach, so cold water can be used, but it will take just a little longer for it to work. You’ll also want to tell the lifeguards on duty as they will know exactly what to do and often have pain remedies on hand.
Beware Of Shells
A shell might not be able to sting your little one, but it can be potential choking hazard! They can also cut little feet. So, if your toddler is allowed to play with shells, pay close attention to ensure they don’t put them in their mouth.
If they refuse to wear shoes and they do get a cut from a shell on their feet, wash the area with soap and water. If it’s bleeding and it doesn’t stop within around ten minutes of adding constant pressure, you’ll need to take your toddler to the hospital.
Overall, taking your little one to the beach should be a fun, enjoyable experience. However, unless you follow the tips above, it could soon turn into a nightmare! So, if you’re heading to the beach this summer with your baby or toddler, be sure to follow the above tips and advice to ensure they stay safe.
Have any tips or stories of your own? We’d love to hear them!