Sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays, sun hats with brims and beach umbrellas are all wonderful items to have along for added protection.
Babies under 6 months old should wear protective clothing, a brimmed sun hat, and if possible, baby sunglasses that protect from harmful UV rays. Babies should not spend a lot of time in the sun, but when they are, keep them protected!
Most public beaches do not allow items such as floating rafts, noodles, or "arm floaties" as they are not Coast Guard approved swim or safety wear. Check with your beach lifeguards or town officials to see what they will or will not allow. Coast Guard approved life jackets are welcome and recommended for young swimmers, even those who have recently learned to swim, for safety purposes. Many beaches offer free loaner lifejackets, or they offer them for a nominal fee.
Bring towels along for each member of your family, this goes without saying. Bringing along an extra or two cannot hurt, especially if little Timmy decides to take his into the water with him.
Being in the sun can quickly dehydrate you. Bring along bottled water, enough for everyone in your family. Check with your beach and see if coolers are allowed so that you can keep it nice and cold. If your beach does allow coolers, this is a great way to save money on snacks. Instead of buying from the beach concession stand, bring along fresh fruit, pretzels, cold sandwiches and carrot sticks.
Bringing along an extra T-shirt or pair of shorts is not a bad idea. If your beach trip will continue on into the evening, bring a windbreaker or sweat jacket for everyone, just in case the temperature dips down. Be sure that everyone has adequate footwear, swim shoes are a great idea as well, especially for rocky beaches.
Don't forget your camera! You can purchase waterproof disposable cameras to capture all of those sunny moments. Inexpensive disposable cameras are even available for underwater use.
Now that you are ready to head off to the beach, here's a summarization of everything we have suggested. Check each item off to see if you are ready to roll!___ sunscreen (at least 15 SPF)