12 things every mom needs in her summer bag

You might be ready for summer, but is your bag? For moms, summer survival can depend on what's in that purse.

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  • If you've got little ones, you already know there are few things your kiddos anticipate more than summertime. After all, school is out, the weather is fine and family vacations are in the works.

  • But for moms, summer can be an exhausting proposition, with days spent chasing kids through water parks, taxiing them to sports practices and balancing half a dozen schedules — all while making sure everyone's got sunscreen on.

  • As any on-the-go mom knows, being prepared for anything at any time is the key to preserving your sanity. So, before summer's actually here, make sure your bag is properly stocked with these essentials:

  • Sunglasses for all

  • You likely have your sunglasses tucked into your bag, but what about those little eyes? Kids need to protect their baby blues from harmful UV rays, too, so make sure the entire family has it made in the shade. Try inexpensive frames with 100 percent UV protection. If you really want to impress your kids, get them a pair that changes colors in the sun. They'll help you remember that it's extra sunny outside and probably a good time for shades and sunscreen.

  • Wet wipes

  • You don't have to have a baby to benefit from a stash of wet wipes. From sandy toes to popsicle-soaked fingers and spilled juice boxes in between, wet wipes are mom's best friend during the summer.

  • Waterproof, long-lasting SPF

  • You already know that sunscreen is a must-have during the summer months. But, not any old sunblock will do. Those long hours in the sun require a high SPF, and the ability to withstand sweat and water.

  • According to Consumer Reports, you should opt for creams or lotions rather than sprays because you may not know how much or how thoroughly you're applying a spray formula. The publication also reports that kids' and adults' formulas are essentially the same — so don't clutter your bag with more than one tube.

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  • Waterproof phone pouch

  • Put a child and a cell phone together and you've got trouble; throw in some water and you'll have certain (electronic) death. Keep your phones and tablets safe — and usable — this summer with a waterproof pouch.

  • Bottle of bubbles

  • It might seem like a superfluous spend, but that $1 bottle of bubbles will be a lifesaver when you and your kids are standing in line at a crowded amusement park, or waiting (impatiently) for the end of soccer practice, or busily being bored, well, wherever. It's tough to find another product that offers more entertainment in such a tiny package.

  • Sand-removing powder

  • Yes, you read that right. If you've ever vacationed at the beach or at the lake, you know you're forever extracting tiny particles of sand from, well, everything. It just doesn't go away. Sand Gone is a powder that actually removes sand from your skin and leaves it silky smooth.

  • Loose-fitting lightweight clothing

  • The summer heat can be uncomfortable for everyone, but it's especially harmful to the itty-bitties. According to Parents Magazine, overheating has been linked to sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. Keep spare clothes in your bag for the little ones that are lightweight, loose-fitting and made from breathable fabrics.

  • First-aid kit

  • It's important to be prepared for injuries throughout the year, but summertime presents a particular risk. According to Kaiser Permanente, summer activities lead to a 15 to 27 percent increase in ER visits. Make sure you've always got the basics on hand: Band-Aids, cloth and antibacterial ointment.

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  • Flip flops

  • You might start the day off wearing those cute, sky-high wedges, but after a few hours of chasing kids in the warm sunshine, your feet will be begging for mercy. Do your feet a solid by keeping a cute pair of flip flopsin your bag or in the car.

  • Healthy snacks

  • You know the drill; you'll be back home in time for lunch or dinner, so you don't worry about packing a few snacks for the kids (and yourself!). But, after getting caught in summer traffic or giving your kiddos those begged-for extra moments at the pool, you've got a car full of starving tummies.

  • Avoid making unhealthy, last-minute fast-food decisions by keeping your bag stocked with nuts, granola, carrot sticks and grapes.

  • Hats

  • Even if you're not playing at the pool or at the beach all day, your kids can still get a little too much sun. A good way to give them easy, no-hassle protection is by keeping sun hats on hand. Plus, the little ones look awfully cute in them.

  • Del Sol makes the summer sun fun for everyone. Check out DelSol.com for their line of color-changing T-shirts, flip-flops, sunglasses and more.

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Kristen has a journalism degree and has experience writing in a variety of fields, including art and culture, health and fitness and financial and real estate services. Kristen has written for USA Today, SFGate and the Knot.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/kradfordprice

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