The sun is shining, waves are splashing, and the sand is calling your name. The beachside getaway is a summer necessity. But if you’ve recently added a new member to your family, it’s easy to worry about whether the sun and surf is a safe environment for your little one. Can you take baby to the beach safely? Because even the one and under set needs a little vacay sometimes.
There are several factors involved in this decision. First, consider your baby’s age in relation to water safety. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, formal water safety programs for children aged one and under are not recommended because there is not enough scientific study to back up their effectiveness. Of course, these lessons would take place in the calm waters of a pool. As explained in Kids Health, the open water at the beach could include hazards such as large waves, undertows, and even jellyfish stings. And the unseen things can get scary, too.
As noted in Baby Center, babies younger than two months of age have vulnerable immune systems, so it is not a good idea to bring them into any sort of open water environment. For kids aged two months to one year, you may want to consult with your healthcare professional. The safety of dipping your kid in the water at the beach will depend on your own child’s health and immune system, as well as the safety of the water you’re entering. Keep an eye out for local water advisories: nothing will derail a fun family vacation faster than flesh-eating bacteria. On the other hand, if your beach is known to be rather safe, then you can probably snap some cute pics of your child literally dipping her toe in the water for the first time. As with most choices, it’s a judgement call based on your own personal circumstances and beach locale.
Heat and sun exposure are other factors that may affect your baby’s health. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies under six months of age should be sheltered from sun exposure and to avoid potential sunburns. As the AAP further explained, infants do not have the same ability to regulate body heat like adults, so they may experience heat stress when left in a car or other hot environment. With all of these potential threats, is it even a good idea to take your baby to the beach at all?
With a little preparation and forethought, it’s possible to safely enjoy a little beach getaway with your baby. After all, a deep love of summer beach trips can start early. Here are some tips for taking your baby to the beach without driving yourself cray.