7 Tips for Sun Safety for Babies and Toddlers + What to Bring to the Beach
Truthfully, my first instinct when it came to my daughter was to keep her in a bubble, safe from dirt, germs, bugs, and anything else that I couldn’t control. But here’s the thing: we love the outdoors, the beach being a particular favourite. So, I had to come to terms with the fact that my baby would get dirty, put things in her mouth, and taste a handful or two of sand.
I’ve loosened up enough to let my children loose on the beach, but of course I’m still concerned about their safety. With a whack of beach vacations under our belts with tots in tow, I’m happy to share my tips about keeping babies, toddlers and little kids safe and happy beside the surf.
#1 – Get Made in the Shade:
Your days of lazing in the blazing sun are over.
The number one tip for sun safety for babies and toddlers is to protect them from it! Be sure to set up shop under a beach umbrella or palapa, and adjust your arrangements as the sun moves. Shade is especially crucial for the littlest babies, as those under 6-months-old are too young for sunscreen.
There are lots of baby beach tent and travel beach umbrella options, at many different price points.
#2 – We All Scream for Sunscreen:
It’s no longer an option, sunscreen is a necessity for every member of your family over 6-months-old.
The higher the SPF factor, the better, but choose children’s formulations for the younger set, and avoid putting it on baby’ hands (you know where those hands always go).
SPF swimwear is also great and is the easiest way to keep kids’ skin safe from the sun. Green Beaver‘s organic sunscreen formulations are effective, and the available pump spray makes them easy to apply. Coolibar’s SPF swimwear for infants and toddlers is adorable, as well as safe.
#3 – Drink at the Big Drink:
Have lots of fresh water and other fluids on hand. Playing at the beach is thirsty fun and it’s important to keep everyone hydrated.
Extra water also comes in handy for the inevitable mouthful or eyeful of sand.
If nursing, offer extra feedings and make sure to drink enough yourself! If you’ve got bottles of milk to keep cool, you’ll need an isulated bag. It may as well be cute, so that’s why we love the Lunchie!
#4 – Avoid Hat Tricks:
Protect little scalps and tender eyes by making sure sunhats stay on. Look for ones with good, strong Velcro but sometimes you need to go the route of the string.
Make sure you have extras on hand. Hats do have a mysterious way of disappearing when you’re not looking.
Luvali Convertibles are so cute, though, that you’ll notice if it’s not on Junior’s head!
#5 – Shake and Break:
No matter the fun you’re all having, it’s important to dry off, shake off the sand, and take a break.
The suns’ rays are strongest between the hours of 10am and 4pm. These are ideal times for a snack or lunch in the shade, and then a nap indoors. You’ll head back to the beach refreshed and ready to play!
Zoocchinni Hooded Towels are the absolute cutest way to dry off after a dip.
#6 – Keep it Simple, Silly:
The more intricate and elaborate the beach toys you bring, the more you’ll have to carry and keep track of. A few buckets, and a beachball are really all that’s needed.
When your beach babies are old enough, have them pitch in to help carry the load.
In the meantime, Bogg Bags are an awesome alternative to a pack mule. They are sturdy, big, and you can hose ’em off!
#7 – Arm & Eye Co-ordination:
With kids, things can happen in the blink of an eye, and you don’t want that blink to happen at the beach. A watchful eye is essential at all times, not just at the water’s edge, but to avoid ingesting seashells, stepping on something sharp and/or prickly, and the like.
Toddlers with a tendency to bolt should be relegated to full-time life jackets. Remember that PFDs, water wings, and other floaties are not a substitute for supervision. Even strong swimmers should be within arm’s reach while in or near the water.
Salus Marine‘s line of life jackets and PFDs are excellent options to keep your little one safe by the sea.
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