If you are headed to the beach with your family this summer there are some items you do not want to forget. Keep these items in your beach bag so that you always have them to hand.
Sunscreen. This is a no-brainer but no beach list would be complete without it. Use Factor 30 and above and get one that is for sports and is water-resistant. A spray sunscreen is a quick and easy way to protect your body but you will not want to use it on your face. You can buy a separate sunscreen stick or facial sun cream to use on your face. This should help to avoid sunscreen from running into your eyes which can be very uncomfortable.
Talcum powder, also known as talc. You can get talc free powder which is made with corn starch which is better for you and works just as well. This is essential for the beach because it absorbs water and stops sand from sticking. If you get to your car and your ankles are still covered in sand, grab your powder dust it onto your skin and rub gently. The sand drops off as if by magic leaving you with soft sweet-smelling skin. It's great for use just before snack time followed by hand sanitizer.
Pack a spare pair of shorts and T-shirt, or dress, for everyone because clothing almost always inadvertently gets wet no matter how careful you are. Pack sweaters even on a warm day, after a good soaking in the ocean and when the evening wind picks up you can quickly get very cold, children are especially susceptible to this because they are so small.
A hat and sunglasses are a good idea for everyone. It can be difficult to get children to cooperate but you can try to get them used to protecting their eyes and head from the sun. The beach can be incredibly bright. The sun's rays are not good for your eyes and can lead to cataracts later in life.
Bring lots of water, bear in mind some of your bottles may get contaminated by sand so bring extra. Be sure to also have some snacks, keep them as separate from each-other as possible. One huge bowl of sliced watermelon only needs one kick of sand to become inedible. It is wiser to have a few smaller bowls with lids.
Designate a special place for your valuables such as cell phone, car keys and wallet. You can actually buy waterproof transparent boxes to keep your valuables sand-free and safe. A plastic sandwich box could also do the trick if the lid fits securely and you can find the right size.
Consider buying shirts for your children with UV protection. It is better for their skin to wear one of these than just their bathing suit with sunscreen. Remember to put sunscreen on the areas the suit does not cover and to allow for the suit riding up or gaping.
Finally don't forget to bring a picnic blanket, towels and toys.
Please remember to always keep an extremely close eye on your children on the beach. They can so easily be washed out to sea by a rogue wave or lost in a crowd of people on a busy day. Never let up your guard and think twice about having other people watch them for you, especially if they have their own child to watch.