Now that the weather is warmer, you’re probably scheduling a trip to your local beach or planning a vacation that involves fun in the sun and splashing in the water. If that’s the case, now is the time to sit down and have a talk with the kids about beach safety tips so they’re prepared.

When most people think of beach safety, they think of floatation devices and sunscreen. While those two things are definitely important, there are other things to keep in mind when you and your family head to the beach.

Check for Lifeguards

It’s important that wherever you decide to swim, the area is monitored by an experienced lifeguard. If you experience a problem—or your child does—it’s much better to have someone on hand that can deal with potential emergencies.

Watch the Posted Warnings

I know it can be tempting to sneak into an area that looks less crowded and ignore the posted signs but don’t. Signs are posted for a reason and a particular area may be for dangerous undertows, jellyfish warnings, or even potential share attacks. Whatever the warning is, please make sure that you pay attention to it.

Stay Hydrated

You might not think about staying hydrated while you’re splashing around in the water, but it is still important at the beach. In fact, it may be even more important because the sand and water are in the open under the direct sun rather than in the shade. Be sure that you bring along plenty of cold water and avoid caffeine, which can actually make it easier to become dehydrated.

Feet First at All Times

Even if you think that you know the area you’re swimming in, always enter the water feet first. You should not be diving off floats, rafts, docks, or boats. You never know if there is a rock, submerged log, or shallow area under where you are driving and you don’t want to strike that unseen object with your head.

Remember Your Life Jacket

Always remember to wear a life jacket if you are boating or rafting. You may not intend to go into the water, but accidents do happen. If you’re accidentally knocked over and hit your head, it’s best that you have a life jacket on—even if you are a good swimmer. This is especially true for children or anyone that does not know how to swim.

Don’t let an accident happen on your next trip, remember these beach safety tips and have a great vacation.