Ten Beach Safety Tips for Parents

Ten Beach Safety Tips for Parents | Better Beach Rentals

A day on the beach is a time-honored tradition that many of us look forward to all year long. Let’s face it, this winter has been a long one. However, the beach is both a wonderful place to be and a place that can be stressful to those of us with kids. We all love our kids, but even the best kids love adventure and adventure can lead to accidents. With a little careful planning and a few tips you can ensure you will have a safe and stress free day on the beach. 

1. Learn to identify rip currents

The shores of Oak Island are some of the most pristine on the east coast. Nobody can deny the lure of the ocean. There is something magical about splashing about in the waves. Waves are fun and exciting to play in. Kids love them, but you must respect their power. One of the best things you can do is to learn how to identify riptides and dangerous currents. Take a moment to watch the video below on how to detect a rip current and how to safely escape one. 

2. Learn safe swimming practices

Being around the water is one of the best things about being at the beach. Whether you are poolside or splashing about in the waves, there are a few safety rules one should always practice. For parents, it is best to instill these practices in your kids at an early age. Here are five rules to follow when swimming:

Never swim alone.

Never swim while under the influence or monitor your kids swimming while under the influence.

Know your limits.

Never leave your child unattended.

New or inexperienced swimmers should wear a flotation device. 

3. Protect yourself from the sun

We all love the sun, and Oak Island has tons of it. However, it is essential to protect your little ones' skin from the sun. There are several great products out there. Sunscreens are great (we recommend organic/natural sunscreens) as they add a base layer of protection. Remember to apply it when the kids are dry and to reapply after they have been in the water. If you don’t like wrestling your kids while applying sunscreen, have them wear a long sleeve shirt. Many “rash shirts” have UVB protection. Hats are also a great way to help protect your head from too much sun. 

4. Wear a helmet

Oak Island is an easy place to get around. The roads are flat, and motorists are used to seeing kids on bikes and skateboards. One of the easiest ways to make sure kids are safe while out on a bike adventure is to be sure they are wearing a helmet. This applies to scooters and skateboards as well. If you rent a bike, the rental company will provide you with a helmet so don’t worry about bringing one.

North Carolina is one of twelve states that require children under the age of 16 to wear a helmet. It isn’t just a good idea; it is the law. 

jellyfish | Better Beach Rentals

5. Be aware of marine life

Kids love splashing around discovering all the natural marine life on the beach. We all have fond memories of our first big discovery on the beach. However, not all marine life is safe to handle. Make sure that kids are aware of things that are potentially harmful.  If you have really small children, this is a great time to spend a little extra time with the kids. Go out on an marine life discovery trip together (low tide is the best time) not only will you find treasures but you’ll have given your kids the beast treasure… your time. 

young boy enjoying watermelon on the beach | Better Beach Rentals

6. Stay hydrated

Summers can be hot here on Oak Island. Kids seem to always have boundless energy. They’ll run around on the beach long after mom and dad have tired for the day. On particularly hot days it is important to keep your kids hydrated. The best way to do this is with healthy snacks like strawberries or watermelon slices combined with cold water. Try and avoid sugar soda, energy drinks and even most sport drinks, as they are loaded with extra sodium and sugar. 

family holding hands on the beach | Better Beach Rentals

7. Watch the parking lots

Everyone is excited when they see the ocean especially when it is the first time of the season. Just as you are excited, so is the car next to you and they may be looking closer at the water then where they are going. Make sure to be aware of the parking lot. Luckily Oak Island is never truly crowded but there can be a fair number of cars in the beach access lots. Be safe and stay aware.

8. Watch the little ones on the deck

Many vacation homes have decks. These decks offer spectacular views and give you a wonderful place to kick back and relax. However, if you have small children you should take a few precautions. Never let kids climb on the railings. Make sure to bring a baby gate for the real small ones.

family playing in swimming pool | Better Beach Rentals

9. Pool safety

Many of our vacation properties have pools. Pools are a fun way to share time with the kids. However, they present a special challenge. Much like the ocean when you are around water you can never let your guard down. Never let kids dive in the pool, run on the deck, or swim alone. Perhaps the best and easiest way to be safe around the pool is to get in with the kids. After all, this is family vacation time and what better way to create memories than in the pool. 

10. Have a plan 

If your kids are like mine, they love to take any opportunity to explore. A parents worst fear is getting separated from their child. Have a plan in case this happens. Do the following before to heading out for the day.


a. Pick a place to meet, like a specific beach access or on the beach in front of a specific colorful house.


b. Remind the kids of those who are safe contacts to seek help from. Show them police, fire, and EMS personnel.


c. If your kids have a smartphone turn on the location services so you can track them if need be.


d. Review how to use the 911 system and write down the address of the property you are renting in plain view or send as a text to the older kids. 

Now that you are all prepared for a week of family fun on Oak Island don’t forget that we’re here to help you with all of your vacation needs. Our goal is to ensure you have the best experience from the moment you book a Better Beach Vacation rental  to the time you turn your keys in. If you have questions or need help make sure to give us a call at 910-278-1147 our friendly staff will be happy to help in any way we can. Have a happy and safe summer!

Book Your Oak Island Vacation Today!

Ten Beach Safety Tips for Parents | Better Beach Rentals

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