With Summer coming up faster than you might expect, it’s never too soon to start thinking about those fun Summer activities, places you want to go, and staying healthy and protected! One of the most frequented Spring and Summer spots is…THE BEACH! Why? The better question is “Why not?” It’s fun, free, outdoors, and a good time for the whole family and as many friends as you want!   To have the best and safest possible day at the beach, keep these five must-haves in mind before you pack up your day bag!  
  1. 1.    Swim Suit and Towels!
Wouldn't that be terrible to forget a swimsuit or a towel? And yes, it does happen, and it is no fun! Make sure you pack a swimsuit and a towel for everyone coming, regardless of whether or not they “plan” on swimming. Towels are key for keeping the sand from mixing with your sunscreen and for drying off, and you can’t go swimming without your suit!  
  1. 2.    Sunscreen!
Perhaps the most important thing to bring! Whether you’re planning on swimming or not, make sure you and everyone you bring is covered head to toe and wait at least 15 minutes before swimming after you apply it! If you swim, make sure to reapply afterwards, or otherwise reapply every 2 hours! More is less!  
  1. 3.    Snacks!
The key to having lots of extended fun in the sun is some sustenance to make sure you can keep your energy levels high! Try bringing some healthy and refreshing fruit and water for especially warm days! If you are planning on swimming after eating, make sure you give yourself a break to digest your food and fend off any cramps!  
  1. 4.    Book and cards!
A perfect way to spend some lazy hours on the beach is exercising your mind with an academic book or laying back and leisurely reading your favorite quick read novel! Bring along some cards for everyone else and be sure to join in on the fun! If your kids aren’t huge readers, bring along a volleyball, kite, or a Frisbee for some extra fun and activities!  
  1. 5.    Sunglasses and a hat!
While most of everyone (hopefully!) knows how important it is to wear sunscreen while outside, not everyone realizes how beneficial wearing a hat and sunglasses can be on top of that! Protect your eyes, give extra protection to your face, and be conscientious of the sun and the damage it can do!   Now that you’ve remembered these essential items, pack up that day bag and get ready for a fun day at the beach with all of your loved ones!   And don't forget to keep a special eye out to make sure everyone is safe, in and out of the water, with sunscreen and flotation devices, if necessary!