Trips to the beach can mean fun in the sun for the whole family, especially if you keep safety in your sights at all times. To ensure a good time is had by all, follow these simple precautions: Apply an SPF sunscreen to skin at least 15 minutes before going in the sun and re-apply every hour – more often if you perspire heavily or if you go swimming. Even on a cloudy day, UV rays can damage the skin, so make sure you arm yourself with sunscreen, regardless of the forecast.

Summer heat and physical exertion can make you lose moisture quickly, leaving you dangerously dehydrated, so make sure to drink water throughout the day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine while outdoors, as they can cause you to dehydrate quickly. Maximize your sun protection by wearing sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, and loose-fitting, light-colored clothing while outdoors.

Limit your time in the direct sunlight and take breaks in the shade whenever necessary.

Even the most expert swimmers can fall prey to the unpredictable tide, so always swim near a lifeguard and obey the rules of the beach or pool. Avoid injury by using the buddy system in the water, and make sure you don’t swim too far out – you may find yourself too tired to swim back. And, as always, be a courteous beach neighbor and make sure you take your things when you leave.