It reached the high eighties for the first time today, so I did what any sane mother would do. I broke out the kiddie pool! I wish I could say everything went smoothly, but nothing goes smooth when you have a four and five-year old. However, it did remind me of what I needed to have on hand for a less chaotic pool day, you know, next time.
What You Should Pack for A Beach/Pool Day
Plenty of Clothing
Not just for the kids either. The chances of you ending up wet are good, and having spare clothes on hand is never a bad idea. Obviously, if you’re playing in the backyard, you already have clothes on hand, but if you’re going to a friend’s house, or the beach, this is something you want to always have.
Yep, I am that person who remembers this at the very last minute and has to load everyone into the car to make a sunblock run.
Drinks – Snacks
You can find small coolers for under ten bucks at your local department store, and sometimes the dollar store will have them at the beginning of the summer. It’s super easy to become dehydrated when it’s hot outside, and when you’re playing in the water you don’t think about hydration. Remember to drink lots of fluids when you’re playing in the sun!
Towels ….. and more towels
I cannot tell you how many fights have broken out about which towel was whose, and it almost always comes down to someone not wanting the wet one. Having plenty of dry towels on hand can save the day in a lot of ways! Especially, when it comes time to dress a squirmy, wet kid.
Empty Plastic Bags or Mesh Bag
No one wants to throw wet clothes filled with sand in with their extra dry clothing. When the fun is over, and it’s time to head home, you’re going to have a lot of wet stuff. Having something to pack all of this stuff into can greatly reduce the stress of packing up.
Remember being a kid and going to the beach? Remember how irritating it was to walk over sharp, slippery rocks? Water shoes are a good way to prevent cutting your feet on sharp rocks, but can be used to reduce slipping at the pool as well.
If you’re swimming in a lake or pond you might encounter a leech or two. Keep a couple of salt packets handy for if this happens. Pouring salt on a leech that’s attached will cause it to let go.
Hair Brush and Elastics
If your children have long hair get ready for tangle city. Something about swimming makes hair twist into the hardest to brush out rat nests. Braiding hair before getting it wet is a great way to prevent this.
It takes two seconds for a child to step in a deep spot and be unable to swim to the surface. Even if a parent is watching constantly, accidents happen. Life jackets should be worn until your child is able to swim well enough to tread water.
Water Proof Bag
Almost everybody carries with them electronics of some kind, even to the pool. If you don’t want to replace your phone because it had a soaking wet bathing suit plopped on top of it, or you accidentally fell in with it in your pocket, put everything in a water tight bag.
Safety Tips for Water
Water can be a great way to beat the heat on a hot day, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. Keep these things in mind when at the beach/pool with your kids this summer:
- It only takes a second for a child to go under the water. If you’re looking at your phone or reading a book chances are good your eyes are off them for longer than that. Keep an eye on your children at ALL times.
- Even if a place has a life guard it is your responsibility to watch your child. Life guards are trying to keep an eye on everyone and might over look something. You cannot trust a stranger with your child’s life.
- Even if a kid can swim they can drown, so don’t think you can ignore them because they can swim.
- Shallow water is still dangerous. A child can fall and drown in an inch of water. Also, they may wander into a hole that is much deeper than the surrounding area.
- Don’t play near rocky areas. Falling and hitting your head and result in unconsciousness, which can cause drowning.
- A bad sunburn is comparable to a third degree burn, and can be serious. Sunblock is your best friend. Kids who are playing in or around water are at a higher risk of sunburn. Remember to re-apply it as needed.
- If a child inhales a lot of water they can drown from it hours after it happens. It’s rare, but if you know your kid inhaled a large amount of water, keep a close eye on them through the rest of the day/night.