Family survival kit and safety tips for the beach

A child chases a sea gull on the Coronado Beach in Coronado, Calif. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

WASHINGTON – The beach is a top destination for family fun this summer. But even the most enjoyable beach trips can turn bad if families are unprepared.

Kids need to wear an approved life jacket – the popular water wings can be worse than useless. Since one out of every four drownings takes place at a beach with a lifeguard on duty, parents should also keep their eyes open.

At the first flicker of lightning, people should get out of the water and off the beach to avoid being struck. And sharks can see best at night, so swimming at dusk or in the dark could also lead to a shark attack.

Essentials to bring:

  • Fluids to stay hydrated – water is best
  • Sunscreen, to be used early, often and even on a gray day
  • A first aid kit, complete with inhalers for asthma and auto injectors for allergies
  • Insect repellent – the kind with low levels of the chemical DEET for infants, kids and expectant moms
  • Vinegar for jellyfish attacks
  • Ice to keep food and drinks cold

WTOP’s Rosemary Frisino Toohey contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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