Currently, more than 34 states are under a heat advisory. With air temperatures swirling in the 100’s, many of us will be visiting the beach and pool to cool down. If a visit to the water is your near future, here is a quick checklist of items to include in your beach or pool bag.
First, the bag. Sure, we all want to be fashionistas and look hip. But, a good practical bag is key. Consider using a waterproof and washable bag. A washable bag will protect you against spreading any germs. Also, use a bag with good strong straps to haul around your load. However, do not over pack your bag, as doctors warn about the excess weight of bags. The heavy load can cause shoulder and back pain and impact your posture.
For example, the American Chiropractic Association recommended that women should avoid carrying bags that are more than 10 percent of their body weight.
Here is a checklist of possible items to include in your beach or pool bag:
• Water. Bring water to avoid dehydration. Consider purchasing a reusable glass thermos or container for your water. Plastic bottles add to our landfills. Also, plastic bottles contain bisphenol A which has been linked to cancer, diabetes, birth defects and heart disease. If you are concerned about breakage, you can purchase a protective cover for the thermos.
• Sunscreen and bug spray. According to the FDA, it is ok to use insect repellent and sunscreen at the same time. The FDA recommends applying the sunscreen first and apply insect repellent second. In regards to sunscreen, purchase a product with UVA and UVB protection and which has a SPF 30 or higher. Also, apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you sit in the sun and reapply sunscreen every two hours.
• Phone with emergency phone numbers. Accidents happen. Include doctor’s phone numbers and phone numbers of the kid’s parents who are included in your group.
• Flip-flops. The sand and asphalt get very hot and can cause burns on your feet. Also, if you are walking on the hot sand and you feel burning on your feet. Twist your feet deeper into the sand to the cool sand to avoid burns on the bottom of your feet.
• Hat and Sunglasses. This is for added protection from the sun. Sunburn does occur on the scalp and eyelids.
• Snacks. Pack healthy snacks. Fruit is refreshing on a hot day. Make some pineapple or watermelon skewers. For those who need a salt fix, grab a bag of pretzels or some pickles. Remember not to feed the birds. Feeding the birds encourages them to return for more and interrupt your beach visit. Also, bird waste causes bacterial pollution which may cause beaches to close.
• Plastic bags for garbage. Pick up after your group and place garbage in a tightly sealed bag. Put the garbage in a sealed container with a lid to prevent wildlife from feeding on any garbage.
Other things to include in your bag:
• Camera. To remember those special moments with family and friends.
• Towel. To dry off and use as protective covering.
• First-aid kit. Band-aids and first aid cream.
What other items do you put in your beach or pool bag?
Reviewed July 21, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Jody Smith