Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Rainy Day at the Beach


If I had planned a vacation on Cape Cod, this would have been the week. Why? Basically the weather has been, how shall I say this…awful. Yes, truth be told, we occasionally have nasty weather and with my luck, this would have been my week. So, as a parent and an employee of an agency specializing in complex special needs, the question becomes….what does one do during spells of bad weather?

First, always consider the safety factor and don’t underestimate Mother Nature. If thunder & lightning are forecast, get inside! If you live with other weather related hazards (tornadoes, hurricanes, etc...), follow recommended safety protocols. However, I have found the beach to be a particularly great place to go on a drizzly day. Less worry about the sun, fewer people, and no ice cream truck! The kids are going to go in the water and get wet anyway so, why not? That beach umbrella can double as a rain cover too. You can still find shells, explore jetties for periwinkles and crabs and build sand castles. In fact, the sand becomes perfect for sand castles. It is easier to watch your kids and with more beach available you can have the space you need that your child is comfortable with. Also, more parking spaces mean less distance to cover with toys, equipment and mobility issues.

Many beaches have adaptive wheelchairs that not only go on the sand but can take your child right into the water.  Check with the visitor center in your town to see where these are available. Always go to life-guarded beaches. As the mom of former lifeguards I can tell you that they still work on those days (they might not be happy, but they are working). And if they aren’t available, that’s probably a good indicator that you shouldn’t be there either. Inform the lifeguard of any special concerns that you are comfortable sharing. It has been my experience that these heroes of the beach can make a positive lasting impression on kids and offer parents an extra pair of eyes scanning the water. And never assume anyone else is watching your kids more closely than you.

Bring back shells, driftwood, beach glass, pebbles (leave the live things there please) and make a memento of your time on vacation. Nature trail walks, bike rides, outdoor exploring can all happen on days the sun doesn’t come out. It doesn’t have to mean sitting in front of the TV all day. Especially when there are adventures to be had!

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

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