A Day At The Beach: How To Stay Safe While Having Fun

Sun protection is not the only thing you need to think about when venturing to the beach. Health & fitness expert, Katherine McMackin, shares her beach bag cheat sheet.


It’s getting warmer, making it a time when many of us begin to load up the car and trek to the nearest body of water to camp out for the day to play in the sand, to swim, and to relax. Packing for a day at the beach becomes much more of a task than it used to be when you’re taking your tot along for the trip. Being safe in the sun requires a bit of preparation so you can enjoy your family time without the worry.


Sunscreens for sensitive skin


The first priority is protecting yourself and your little ones from sun exposure. It’s true that sun is good for us. It’s a mood booster and gives us necessary doses of Vitamin D. But too much could spell trouble, especially for kids who have much more sensitive skin than we do. It’s important to have sunscreen with you and to reapply every 60–80 minutes especially after being in the water. Some products stay on the skin better than others, so be sure to read the directions and adhere to the product’s specific recommendations. The type of sunscreen you put on is more important than you think. Mainstream sunscreens contain chemicals that could encourage the production of cancer causing free radicals, contain hormone disrupting phthalates and end up doing more harm to you and your family than good.

Look for sunscreens that use “physical” sunscreen ingredients such as non-nano zinc oxide with an SPF of 30. These sit on top of the skin rather than penetrate it to the cellular level. Zinc oxide provides broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays.


Don’t forget protective clothes (and umbrella and shade)


However, don’t just rely on sunscreens to protect you from the sun’s rays. Also consider bringing hats, sun protective clothing and umbrellas to reduce the amount of direct sun you are exposed to. During the hours of 10:00 am to 2:00 pm is when the sun is at its strongest. The best strategy is to stick close to the shade to get the most out of your beach day without the harm of extended sun exposure.


Must-haves for your beach bag


A day at the beach can also pose other challenges, like overheating, dehydration and bug bites, but if you bring the right supplies you’ll be smooth sailing. Here’s a cheat sheet of what to keep in your beach bag.




Bring plenty of water to keep everyone cool. One of my favorite tricks is to slice up cucumbers into ¼ inch chunks and freeze them the day before. Plop a few of these in your water to keep it cold.  Cucumbers also aide in hydration and reduce bloating. We love the PlanetBox Stainless Steel Water Bottle to keep our tots’ drinks cool. Leak-proof, spill-proof and double-wall insulated, this water bottle keeps liquids cold for up to 12 hours!

Planetbox stainless steel water bottle

PlanetBox Stainless Steel Water Bottle



Available in more colors






Choose a brand that uses non-nano zinc oxide and isn’t packed with chemical additives and ingredients like this Erbaviva Organic Baby Sunscreen. Erbaviva uses safe ingredients and has great protection and feels good on skin.

Erbaviva Baby Sunscreen


Erbaviva Organic Baby Sunscreen





Bug Repellent


Depending on your destination, bugs can be a problem. If you need to use bug repellent, choose a DEET-free product that uses essential oils to repel pests. Be sure to apply bug repellent on top of your sunscreen or choose a dual product that has both sunscreen and bug-repelling ability.

Erbaviva Buzz Spray


Erbaviva Organic Children’s Buzz Spray






Swim Diapers


If you are doing your part to reduce the landfill epidemic by using cloth diapers, what do you do when you hit the pool or beach? Luckily there are reusable swim diaper options that are both comfortable and convenient, like Green Sprouts’ Snap Reusable Absorbent Swimsuit Diaper.


Green Sprouts Snap Reusable Swim Diaper



Available in more colors



Wet Bag


Don’t even think of leaving the house if you don’t have a wet bag. Logan & Lenora has a very stylish one that fits up to five wet diapers or a mix of wet clothes, swimsuits, or workout clothes.


Logan and Lenora Classic Wet Bag



Available in more colors



Head Protection


Wide-brimmed hats are a great way to keep the damaging sun rays off baby’s face and out of her eyes.  This Green Sprouts Reversible Bucket Hat will do the trick. It’s lightweight and stuffs easily inside your beach bag.


Green Sprouts Reversible Bucket Hat



Available in more colors






Don’t forget the fun! Sand play is not only fun and provides hours of entertainment, it also fosters creative, independent play. Try some safe toys that are made from non-toxic materials that can be recycled later when you’re done with them. One of our absolute favorite brands, Maileg, makes a collection of adorable small world play-inspired Beach Bundles.

Maileg Mouse Beach Chair Set


Maileg Beach Chair Bundle






Maileg Little Sister Beach Bundle


Maileg Little Sister Beach Bundle







Maileg Little Brother Beach Bundle


Maileg Little Brother Beach Bundle







A little pre-planning and sun safety knowledge will ensure that your day at the pool or the beach is fun and relaxing. Be safe and have fun!


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