Family Pool and Beach Packing List Items
You have many options for sunscreen, and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should use one that is broad-spectrum to filter out both UVA and UVB rays. Somewhere between 15 and 50 SPF should be fine for most children. It also suggests using zinc oxide on sensitive areas such as the face.
Mineral sunscreens are popular among parents because they often include zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, both of which are better for sensitive skin. Keep babies under 6 months old completely out of the sun, and try to limit sun exposure between 10AM and 4PM, if possible.
Life vests: The best ways to prevent drowning are to teach your child to swim and to keep both eyes on them at all times. But floatation devices such as life vests and pool floaties for kids can also give parents peace of mind, so don’t forget to pack them. Look at the weight requirements for flotation devices to see if it’s appropriate for your child.
Umbrella or beach tent: Check to see if your destination has umbrellas; if not, consider bringing one of your own for sun protection. Children get tired easily in the heat, so you’ll want a home base that’s shady for them to rest.
Beach chairs: Beach chairs are optional if you are headed somewhere without them.
Towels: Don’t forget your towels! Bring a few spare ones, for pool forts and accidents. You can use a dry one to sit on in the car if you don’t change out of your wet clothes before heading home.
Snacks: Keeping your family’s energy up in direct sun is important, so pack plenty of healthy snacks. Bring more than you think you will need—kids are bottomless snack pits, especially when the sun is depleting their energy.
Water bottles: It’s easy to get dehydrated, so make sure your family has plenty of water. You can either bring reusable water bottles, or one bottle of water for each hour you’ll be out in the sun. Pro tip: freeze them and use them as ice packs in your cooler. By the time you’re ready to drink, they’ll have melted a bit, resulting in delicious, ice cold water.
Bathing suits: Obviously don’t forget your swim suits! For kids still in diapers, look for easy pull-down trunks for boys and swimsuits with snaps on the bottom for girls. Rashguards are also super popular as a way to give your children even more sun protection.
First aid kit: Accidents can happen anywhere, so be prepared with a simple first aid kit in your bag.
Hats: Hats are just as important as sunscreen, and kids need both to help them stay protected. Find hats that are easy to fold or pack so they take up minimal space.
Swim pants: If your child is still in diapers, they will need a swim-safe version. (Many pools require that children wear them.) Huggies® Little Swimmers help make a day at the pool or beach easy for parents thanks to its innovative design. They don’t swell in water, there are easy-open sides for an adjustable fit, and Double Leak Guards around each leg to contain any potential mess. Plus, they come in cute, summer-ready designs that kids will love. The CDC recommends checking and or changing swim diapers or swim pants every 30 to 60 minutes. Bring a few regular diapers like Huggies® Little Snugglers® as well to change into.
Wipes: Bring wipes, such as Huggies® Natural Care® Sensitive Baby Wipes as well. Your baby’s skin might be extra sensitive after saltwater or chlorine, so wipes specially formulated for delicate skin are key. Whether or not your child is still in diapers it’s always a good idea to bring wipes: they help with a whole host of beach- and pool-related messes, such as popsicle clean up.
Toys: Toys are absolutely not necessary, but can add to your child’s curiosity. Things like sandcastle building toys, small figurines and even just simple cups can go a long way.
Cooler: A cooler isn’t necessary unless you are bringing food that needs to stay refrigerated.
Wet bag: Consider bringing a designated wet bag, which is a place where you can put all the wet swimsuits during transit. Just don’t forget about them!
Change of clothes: Accidents still happen at the beach, so be prepared with back up outfits for your kids. If your kids don’t like wearing wet clothes home, you can change them before leaving, too.
Tips for packing your bag
This list and tips are just suggestions to help make the process of getting out the door quicker, so the entire family can have more fun. You know your family best, and will be able to anticipate their needs better than anybody, so plan with your specific family in mind.
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