Taking Toddler to the Beach

Updated on July 21, 2011
M.J. asks from Carlisle, PA
15 answers

My fiance and I are going to the beach, just for the day. It's supposed to be hot, my concern is if we should take our two year old with us. The only reason I'm having seconds thoughts is because she gets really red in the face after being outside for 10 minutes and we'll be at the beach all day. I want to take her so she can enjoy her first time at the beach, but Im just concerned with how red in the face she gets.

What should we do?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the great advice! :)
I've got a list of things that I'll need already and we'll definitely have/rent an umbrella. I've even made sure she has water shoes.

But from the looks of it with the weather we won't be able to go this weekend.

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answers from Seattle on

We're just back from a beach vacation and here is what we did: have kiddo in UV protective wear so you only have to put sunscreen on legs and arms (and face). Have something that gives you shade (big umbrella, beach shelter thingy... whatever works for you). Bring a BIG bucket and squirties.
My daughter spend most of the day at the beach playing in the sand with a bucket of water. To keep her cool I regularly wet her bathing suit, she dipped her feet in the water and I had her stay in the shade. It was between 95 and 100 degrees every day and lots of fun!
Please know that even if they stay under the umbrella sunscreen on all of their exposed skin AND a hat. You can wet down their hat and clothes and the evaporation will help keep them cooler. Also lots of liquids to keep hydrated.
Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

We just took my 2 year old son to a hotel with a water-park a couple weekends ago. It was 106 that day! My son is the same as your daughter, and I asked a similar question :) Here is what we did:

- Hydrated him a lot the day before.
- Brought plenty of cold drinks, fruit, other healthy snacks
-Put sunscreen on him 30 minutes BEFORE we were in the sun
-Reapplied sunscreen every hour (remember the lips!)
-Took breaks for a snack and drink when he looked more red in the face
-Found shade wherever we could!

He had SO much fun!! We were there from morning to evening and he did great. No sunburn and no dehydration, but he sure did sleep well that night!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Take a beach umbrella that's big enough for her to get under and play in the shade. Some people even bring little baby pools they fill with ocean water, but I've never done that. I have a two and five year old, and we go to the beach and to lake beaches a lot! Take a big, well-iced cooler with lots of water and kid drinks she likes and don't limit them ( we love the capri sun water splash drinks). Also take chilled fruits she likes such as melon cubes or grapes. My oldest has always loved olives and they replenish all the salt sweated out! And of course-a sun hat and lots of fun time in the water! Take her stroller down for naptime and keep ot under the umbrella so it doesn't get too hot. Have fun! Toddlers and the beach are fantastic!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

She should NOT be in the sun the whole day.
Sunscreen sure. But even if in the sun, you can get sun burned.
And especially if ALL day out.
You need a beach tent or something, or umbrella for shade.
Not to mention, dehydration too.

As you see, your child per her skin, gets sunburned with only 10 minutes of sun.

Sun damage, occurs, even with that.
And sun damage, is cumulative. Over time.

I would not have her at the beach/in the sun, the whole day.
Just a little while.

Or get a 'rash guard' or sun tops, for her.
But this is only for the body, per sun protection.
Not the face.

A person's face can ALSO get sunburned, via reflective heat. Via the water or surfaces, it can sunburn the face, even if wearing a hat.
Unless the hat casts a shadow over her entire face.

Also, sun poisoning can occur too.
From too much sun.
This is very unpleasant... and some end up in the ER.
My Dad had that once... from fishing all day.

Have something for Shade.
Then sure, she can be out hanging out all day at the beach.
But if there is NO shade... I would not have her out, all day.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I totally agree with Bug, My 2 cents... get a big beach umbrella or borrow one. Some great responses. I would invest in a beach tent if you can. I've seen them and they seem awesome and I agree with a big shade hat and a rash guard shirt and shorts.

Have her drink water the day before or as much before as possible. Drinking the day of doesn't fully hydrate your body like drinking the day before does.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Sunscreen, a HUGE hat is essential for fair skin. Make sure she keeps drinking water. Keep having her stay in the shade regularly throughout the day so she doesn't get overheated. Toddlers are quite sensitive to the sun, especially if they're fair. And watch her like a hawk near the water.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Yes you should go! You already have lots of reasons why listed below but I had to chime in! ;) She will love it and you'll be happy you did it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

You got great advice here but if you feel she will be miserable, or if she gets miserable when out in the heat for too long then maybe her visit to the beach should be at the end of August or September when its cooler out.

Another idea is to take a small blow up pool for her to sit in under the umbrella. Be sure to have a big bucket or two to fill up the ocean water in the pool for her (sit close to the water).

If you aren't taking an umbrella for her to play under and nap under, I wouldn't take her. You want her first time at the beach to be positive.

Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Sunblock and a hat (full coverage bucket hat) and an umbrella or canopy for her to sit under

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Medford on

Dont forget the sunscreen on her head, even if shes got lots of hair and is wearing a hat. Spray bottles for cool water misting. small hand towels to soak in water and cool her off with, and around your neck too. Very refreshing. If the umbrella is light colored the glare under it will burn your eyes and face, so hang darker colored towels inside if possible.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

You're going to want to get a beach umbrella, beach tent or set up camp in the shade. Use heavy waterproof sunscreen and keep reapplying. Bring a ton of water for her to drink constantly. Some kids get red in the face easy so I wouldn't let that get in the way. That may be just her skin coloring.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets



answers from Los Angeles on

I think Julie B said it best!

We just took our 5 and 4 year old along with our 8 mos old and it was great! The umbrella really helped for the baby!!

HAve fun!

PS Don't forget floaties! never know when a wave can knock ya down. Better to be safe.



answers from Philadelphia on

I am a grandmother of 10, my youngest are 18 month old tripletts, one boy and two girls, soon they will be potty trained ,and that is my mandatory guide for taking them to the beach. I would suggest that you shorten your stay at the beach, and use the early early(7:AM to Noon) or the later time (4:PM and after) Bring a shaded Umbrella or a baby tent to protect the childs face from cancer causing sun rays. I'm sure you would not forget to use Sun Screen, or block on your precious cargo.



answers from New York on

Umbrella, sunscreen- applied several times, lots of water/juice, snacks/lunch, a bucket of toys and you are all set. We were at the beach all day this past saturday and my son had a blast. We went in the water when we got too hot. He didn't want to go in himslef, so we carried him in and he loved it! Good luck

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