If there’s one thing Hampton Roads residents love, it’s the beach, and we have so many awesome beaches. But between the sun, the heat, and occasional water dangers, a day that starts as fun in the sun could turn sour.
Here are our top tips for having an awesome beach day! If you’re trying to decide which beach to hit up, check out our hrScene beach guide!
- Don’t forget the sunscreen!
The American Melanoma Foundation recommends a sunscreen with an SPF 15+ or more, if you burn easily. Reapply often if you’re sweating or
swimming, and choose a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen that protects against UVB and UVA radiation.
- “Stuff” security
It’s such a bummer to be the one guarding the “stuff” under the umbrella while everyone else plays in the Atlantic. First of all, keep your valuables to a minimum at the beach. Secondly, stash what you absolutely must bring (like your keys and cell phone) in camouflage. Some suggestions: an empty sunscreen bottle, a clean diaper, a box of feminine products.
- Shake off the Sand
Did you know that baby powder not only sweetens stinky feet, but helps remove sand? Brush a little on to dry your skin just enough to let that sand fall right off.
- Bring your own shade
To prevent heat fatigue, dehydration, and sunburn, you need to get out of the sun every once in awhile. Find a cheap beach umbrella and invest in a broad sunhat. You’ll be glad you did!
- Pop the aloe in the fridge beforehand (just in case)
If you’re up on your sunscreen you shouldn’t have this problem, but nothing soothes a sunburn quite like aloe, and when it’s cold it’s so much sweeter.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
We all know that water is important in the summer, but remember that sweating and salt water can
dehydrate you faster than normal. Make sure you hydrate plenty! Freezing water bottles and throwing them in a cooler will keep your other beverages cool and be a refreshing sip once they start to melt.
- Keep safety in mind
The most common injuries are sun and hydration related, and we covered that already. But don’t forget little ones especially can easily cut themselves on a sharp shell, encounter an unfriendly jellyfish, or even accidentally crash into a boardwalk cyclist or a beach volleyball game. Having a first aid kit is a good idea, and keeping ice on hand (you have it in your cooler, anyway) and a baggie to make an impromptu ice pack can mean instant relief to bumps and boo boos.
- Weigh down your blanket or towel
Stretching out is great, but your blanket gets tangled in no time. You can purchase “towel anchors” at most beach stores, or simply plop your bags and beach accessories around the corners. I’ve also seen people use an upside down fitted sheet to create little walls to keep the sand out.
- Pay attention to flags and lifeguards
Chances are they know a little more about what’s going on in the big blue than you do, and if they’re saying stay out you should stay out!
- Don’t forget the toys and entertainment!
What’s the beach without a great sandcastle? And you’ll need that summer playlist, so be sure to toss a radio or a speaker into a bag with your summer books and magazines. There’s also always a ton of stuff going on all over our Hampton Roads beaches this summer. Visit the hrScene events page to find out more!
Here are some more beach safety tips from the Red Cross:
- Swim sober and always swim with a buddy. Make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.
- Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Protect your neck – don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters.
- Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while at the beach. Wave action can cause someone to lose their footing, even in shallow water.
- Watch out for aquatic life. Water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants and leave animals alone.
Have a fun, safe time at the beach!