Over the past week, I have been enjoying a vacation at Sea Isle City, New Jersey. I have had a great time at the beach, walking the town, going on bike rides and relaxing on the deck. While I have been doing this, I have also been coming up with tips and tricks to make your beach vacation a successful one. Here are 8 tips to enjoy a beach trip with your family.
Talk with the lifeguards
Many of the lifeguards are high school and college students and do not have experience with individuals with special needs. I went and talked to the lifeguards during the week and they suggested that the families introduce themselves to the lifeguards each time they get on the beach and disclose if the individual has seizures.
Write personal information on the individual’s arm
We all know how quickly an individual can turn the other direction or get lost in the shuffle. To prevent an individual from getting lost, write the child’s name and your contact information on the individual’s arm and put liquid band aid over top of it.
Make a communication board
Communicating on the beach is key for a successful day. We all know how expensive high-tech communication systems are, so protecting them from sand and water is important. But remember, that is their voice and the individual will need something to communicate. Here is an example of a simple communication system I created quickly. You are welcome to use this system or take pictures of your own and print the them.
Finding the bathrooms
In most beach towns bathrooms are not located on every block. When picking a location where to stay or trying to find out what block to go to on the beach, I recommend finding out what streets have public restrooms.
Wheelchair for the beach
If there is a need for a wheelchair on the beach, reach out to the local government or beach patrol before you arrive and reserve ahead of time. Many groups allow you to rent wheelchairs or have them on first come first serve basis.
When to go to the beach
If you are unable to arrive at the beach early in the morning, have a family member set up all your materials early to reserve your spot. Many of the families I talked with expressed that it was great to be close to the water to entertain the kids.
Getting the sand off
We all know how uncomfortable sand can be on the body, for an individual with sensory difficulties, it could be even worse. I have learned that baby powder is a great thing to get sand off body parts. Squeeze the baby powder on the body part, rub it into the skin, then wipe it off with a towel.
Getting thirsty on the beach
The sand always gets into the things we don’t want it to. To prevent the sand from getting into a drink, pick a water bottle that keeps the drink cold and has a flip lid.
I hope these 8 tips helps make your beach vacation a successful one.