Water parks are a great source of fun for kids, but they can be stressful for parents. How do you keep your child safe while still making sure he or she has a good time? Follow a few simple guidelines to make water park trips better and safer for everyone.

Use Sunscreen and Stay Hydrated

There’s no such thing as a safe sun tan, and a child who gets a sunburn is even more at risk for both immediate and future skin damage. A child can also suffer from dehydration due to the exposure to the heat.

The sun can wreak havoc on a child’s body, inside and out, and that’s why applying sunscreen to the outside and making sure the child drinks water for the inside is essential. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you take your kid to the water park, and get all the exposed areas. Reapply every two hours or less since being in the water washes sunscreen off sooner than being on dry land.

It’s also important to have your kids to drink plenty of water before heading to the water park. Once they arrive, being in the water and feeling the excitement of the surroundings is going to make kids forget thirst. Remind them to drink water every hour even if they aren’t thirsty. This can keep them from dehydrating.

Constant Supervision

Water and distractions don’t mix. Being alert and attentive at all times is important when you take your kids around water, and this is especially true at a water park. There are tons of other people around, and you need to make sure that you don’t lose sight of your child.

Supervision goes beyond simply glancing at a child on occasion. You need to know where your child is and avoid distractions. Put away your phone, and know that a day at a water park with a child means you won’t be lounging on a chair reading a book.

Depending on your child’s age and swimming ability, it may be a good idea to stay close enough to touch your child. This will enable you to grab him or her quickly if there is a problem. While it is the water park’s responsibility to provide adequate lifeguard supervision, it is still possible for lifeguards to become fatigued from standing for too long.

Consider a Life Vest

Many water parks provide life vests or allow you to bring them into the park for kids who need them. Consider the depth of the water and how strong of a swimmer your child is before going to the water park. If you don’t feel comfortable imagining your child trying to swim without a life vest, make sure you have one, and make your child use it.

Your child needs to know if you consider a life vest non-negotiable so he will not try to take it off when you aren’t watching. The addition of a life vest can give everyone involved greater peace of mind.

Water parks are a great way to cool off in the summer, and can be a lot of fun for the whole family. Just make sure to follow the rules that will help keep your child safe.

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