Planning and Packing for the Beach this Summer

Beach Cerebral Palsy

Spending time at the beach is the perfect activity for any family, especially on a hot, sunny day. Have you ever got to the beach - kids in tow - and realize that you forgot a couple items? Or realized you should have packed a specific item? It happens to the best of us so we wanted to create a blog on tips for packing for the beach in hopes that every family will be more prepared next time.

Planning and Packing for the Beach

Tip #1: Accessibility Check

Even though all beaches should be accessible to everyone, this is not always the case. Research the beach and make sure your child will be able to access it. Does your child have a (sand adaptable) wheelchair? Are there steps getting down to the beach? Make sure nothing will stop your child from joining in on the fun.

Tip #2: Bring a Blanket and Chairs

This may seem obvious, but sometimes the simple things slip our minds. Don’t forget to pack a large blanket and beach chairs. The large blanket will be a perfect spot for your child to relax out of the sand and water. It will also be a great spot to eat snacks and grab a drink of water. Chairs will also be critical for adults or even your child who may need help sitting up.

Tip #3: Various Toys

Just being at the beach relaxing may get boring for a lot of children so packing toys is important. Don’t just bring one or two of the same type. Try to bring a variety of options for your child (nothing that a little sand and possible water can destroy). Buckets, shovels, bubbles, etc. You can even pack some toys that stay on the blanket and out of the sand and water. This can include books, coloring books, etc. You can never be overly prepared for boredom. Plus, you can always take note of what doesn’t get used and leave it at home next time. For fun on the beach, check out our suggestions regarding playing with sand in our blog post on the topic!

Tip #4: Sun Protection

Sunscreen is a must! Make sure it is the type your child needs; some children have sensitive skin and need organic or skin sensitive sunscreen. Also, don’t forget about the lips. Lips need chap stick with SPF in it and need it applied frequently (nothing is worse than swollen sunburned lips). You should also pack swim shirts, hats, and sunglasses for your child. These items will also help protect your child from the sun.

Tip #5: Floats/Life Jackets

There are many options for floats and life jackets for children with special needs. Find one that works for your child and pack it. Your child will most likely want to get into the water. If your child is timid of the water, there are floats that allow your child to stay out of the water while supporting the body.

 Tip #6: Bring Along an Umbrella

An umbrella may seem like a hassle to bring, but it will be nice to have some shade for the family. On a hot day, your child will want to get out of the sun for a little bit and the umbrella will help. This will also be a key factor in protecting your child from the sun.

Tip #7: Snacks and Water

Spending time at the beach can be exhausting and your child will need some snacks and water to fuel up. Packing a cooler will help keep the food cold and keep it from spoiling. Also, bring any adaptive silverware (bowls, cups, etc.) your child may need. Try to pack healthy snacks like fruit or vegetables.

Tip #8: Bags

Where are you going to store all your things? Bring a large beach bag to throw the towels, sunscreen, clothes, and toys in. This will make it easier to carry all your items. You can even pack it the night before. Also, think about buying and bringing a waterproof bag for your electronics. You don’t want your phone to get sandy or drop into the water.

Tip #9: Medicine

This is probably the most important thing you can bring, especially if medicine is needed during the time frame of the trip. Forgetting the medicine can cut the trip short or cause a medical emergency. Make sure you bring the medicine and even the dosage information.

Packing for the beach can be time consuming and stressful, but with some preparation, it can be a breeze. You can even take our tips and create a checklist to help avoid leaving something behind. A trip to the beach should be a fun family day and should be enjoyable. Just use your best judgement in packing items your child will need and want. If you have any other packing tips, please submit them through a comment.

If you have any questions about Cerebral Palsy or planning for a beach trip, feel free to call us at (800) 692-4453 or fill out our form on Facebook or our website.