Tips for Taking Kids to the Water Park

There’s a place where families can splish and splash the day away that’s equal parts awesome for kids and anxiety-inducing for parents… the water park! From lazy rivers to wave pools to all the twisty twirly slides between, families can find a range of fun attractions at water parks, which makes them a popular day trip or vacation destination year round. Not sure what to pack or how to prepare? These indoor and outdoor water parks tips will help you get set to get wet! 

Research the rides 

Before you arrive, find out what height or weight requirements there are for rides and attractions. Knowing which rides are approved for the whole family versus which require you to divide and conquer can be the key to avoiding mid-park meltdowns. And while it may be tempting to try to sneak a child onto a ride, remember that these rules are in place for safety. If the waterpark doesn’t allow a child of a certain height to ride, then you shouldn’t want them to either.    

Pack the puddle jumper 

Many water parks provide or rent personal flotation devices, but depending on your child’s height and swimming level, this may or may not be your best option. If your kids are older and solid swimmers, using a provided life jacket can be convenient if it’s only for an attraction or two. But if you have younger kids or those who need to wear one the entire day, having one that’s comfortable and fits properly is a must. 

Wear water shoes 

Yes, quick-dry water shoes really are a waterpark must for two reasons: germs and slippery surfaces. When you and your family all have on water shoes you can quickly jump (as in, carefully walk) from pool to pool to bathroom back to pool without having to pit stop at the locker or cabana. If you’re questioning the benefit over sandals, know this: sandals are dangerous to slip on with wet feet. And if you think you can dry them first with a towel, think again. When you’ve got a wet bathing suit on, water inevitably drips down your legs into your shoes creating a dangerous situation. The solution is water shoes. Wear ‘em! 

Bring on the bright colors

One of the best tricks for public places, never mind water parks, is dressing your kids and yourself in bright-colored clothing. Find your favorite neon swimwear and suit up so you can easily spot each other in the wave pool or across the concession crowd. Now’s also the time to encourage rash guards. Once boys are in the water, you’ll lose sight of all bright swim trunks and the extra UV protection is always a good idea.  

Plan to get wet 

While water parks are heavily staffed with lifeguards, parents should always stay responsible for their kids in a pool or water setting. Little kids should never be out of arm’s reach and even experienced swimmers should be supervised at all times.

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Drink the right water  

While you’re probably going to find yourself yelling “stop drinking the pool water” a number of times throughout the day, you should be encouraging the entire fam to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Swimming is strenuous on its own, but add a little sunshine and you’ll need to fill up on water before, during and after you’re in the water.  

Take fresh air breaks 

If you’re at an indoor water park, the chlorine levels can catch up with you. Remember to step outside or away from the pools periodically to avoid irritation or chlorine cough. You should also rinse your skin as soon as you exit the pool and apply a moisturizing lotion to prevent dryness. 

Wear your phone   

Some smart watches works even when your phone is out of reach, but for anyone who wants to capture memories, a waterproof phone pouch is the answer. Seal your phone inside and you can wear the pouch around your neck, never missing an action shot or meetup notification. 

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