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Be Beach Savvy This Summer!

Jul 4, 2008
First thing you do is pack for the beach, right? Packing for the beach can be exhausting but if you know how to only take the things you really need it gets easier, and lighter to carry. Fun in the sun should be FUN, not an exercise workout before you even get there. Plus you want to be safe and have an enjoyable outing

I like to apply sunscreen before I even leave for the beach. Use a SPF 15 or greater, babies and kids need SPF 30 or more. Waterproof or sports sunscreens can last over 8 hours and if you take advantage of this little tip that's one more item you can leave at home or in the hotel room. Applying at home also lets you rub it thoroughly into your skin without rubbing sand all over yourself or the kids. Plus, if you notice the directions, most say to apply at least a half hour before exposure. Take the lip balms and nose ointment with you, they're smaller and pack easier anyway.

You will want a brimmed hat and an extra t-shirt or cover-up that protects your shoulders and back. A big beach umbrella or beach tent also offers added protection. Your distinctive umbrella can act as a landmark to locate your spot after playing in the water, especially when the wave action moves you up the beach. Remember the first aid kit or at least a couple of band-aids and antibiotic cream. Take a small pack of tissues, plenty of water to drink and your favorite snacks or light food.

Chairs & blankets can be bulky to carry so I devised my own sand chair. This is so easy to make! Just dig a hole for your bum and make the 'back' to your liking. I like support up to my head so I just pile the sand higher till it fits me and then pat lightly. Line your 'chair' with your beach towel or thin blanket and dig your feet into the bare sand. As the sun moves on you, redesign your 'chair' to move with it! It's a good idea to smooth the sand out when you leave so nobody falls into any holes later.

To dig that hole you want a sand shovel! You might want several toys for the sand & water, including a sieve for screening out castle decorations. Remember to take a plastic jar or extra plastic bag for those seashells you find too. A mesh bag is a great idea to carry all these types of items.

Plan on taking at least one towel per person, plus extras. Things tend to get wet and sandy so have an extra towel or two or three, just in case. They can also make a cover-up for sleeping toddlers if you don't have an umbrella. Adjust accordingly depending on your apparel and the weather. Leave the electronics at home but a cheap radio won't be a great loss if sand gets in it.

Your digital camera is going to get sandy. I recommend purchasing a waterproof disposable or even an underwater model! On sunny days it's hard to get a good face shot. Try the fill-flash setting to minimize shadows on a super sunny day. On overcast days the face shots actually turn out better!

Swimming in the ocean is a real blast when you have a little know- how. Always try to be in sight of a lifeguard. Always swim with a buddy... that way, if a shark attacks you, you can give him your buddy. Seriously now, use common sense and obey the lifeguards. Never swim near piers or pilings. If you get caught in a rip tide, swim parallel to the shore for several strokes and you will probably be out of it, or float on your back and wave to attract the lifeguards attention. Also, don't dive in at first unless you know the depth. Two thirds of catastrophic neck injuries occur in open water.

Even with eyes in back of your head, toddlers can get lost. If a toddler gets lost at the beach, follow the wind. Kids tend to take the path of least resistance and are probably wondering around downwind from you, wondering where you are. This is where a brightly colored hat with a brim could come in handy. Besides keeping some sun off their face, hats can be little beacons for you to spot them easier.

If you get stung with a jellyfish wash the area with seawater and then apply vinegar. A fresh slice of papaya directly on the sting also helps. If you get a mild sunburn, cool compresses with a 50/50 mix of milk and water takes the sting out. For a moderate sunburn try using aspirin and over the counter remedies, or an oatmeal bath. For severe burns with blisters or a bad jellyfish sting, consult a doctor, especially if vomiting, joint pain, or shortness of breath occurs.

Lastly, when you get home from your wonderful beach outing, be sure to shake your towels and toys outside to remove most of the sand before you bring it indoors with you. Now that you are beach savvy go have your fun in the sun!
About the Author
Susanne Bargel is the owner of a great savings Emall and has many items for land and sea available in her mega mall. Save your gas money for more fun stuff and shop here!
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