Maui is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Hawaii and some of the most diverse. Whether you’re looking to spend a family-friendly day under the sun, a romantic stroll for two, or explore fascinating black sand beaches, Maui has a beach that’s perfect for you.

But in order not to spoil your beach vacation to Maui, you need to be aware of beach safety and precautions, especially if you are taking your kids with you. Below, check out some tips for enjoying Maui beaches safely.

Slather on Sunscreen Before Hitting the Beach

Nothing ruins a beach vacation in Maui faster than getting sunburned on day one. So, before you head out into the sun, make sure you lather up with a generous coating of high SPF sunblock and make sure to reapply after swimming.

When it comes to sunscreen, choose something that’s FDA-approved and coral reef-safe. Go for something with SPF 30 or higher. Make sure you apply sunscreen to your lips and feet as well. The wind and the sun could hurt your lips, too, so consider using a lip balm that has SPF 30 or higher. Since you will most likely be wearing slippers or even go barefoot while under the sun, don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your feet as well.

Be Mindful of your Feet When Walking Barefoot

When walking along the shores, make sure you keep your feet protected, especially when going barefoot. A long walk at the beach is a great way to spend dreamy romantic evenings. But be mindful of the rough and rocky coastline as it could injure your bare feet. While out in the sea, avoid walking on corals. They are sharp, and the resulting cuts can be excruciating, with a possibility of infection.

Try to avoid going barefoot, if possible. Wear a pair of reef shoes instead. Encourage everyone to do the same to prevent cuts and scrapes if you accidentally step on kiawe tree thorns, broken coral, or shattered glass.

Always Exercise Caution When Swimming at the Beach

Spending the day at one of the beautiful beaches of Maui can be real fun. You can do many fun activities, from snorkeling, surfing, and swimming. However, playing in the open water requires a certain level of caution, especially if you have small kids with you.

Pay close attention to the flag warnings and signs posted at the more populated beaches. These signs are put up to advise the public of unsafe conditions. During heavy rains, stay out of the ocean until the water clears up. Avoid swimming at the mouths of streams or rivers or in any murky areas. Murky waters attract predators like sharks, and you do not want to be mistaken for a turtle or a fish while they are out looking for snacks!

Of course, thousands of people enjoy Maui’s beaches every day without getting in trouble, so you will most likely have an enjoyable experience at the beach. However, a little caution goes a long way.

Choose Beaches with Lifeguards

Maui is home to numerous beaches. Others are quiet and secluded, while some are easily accessible. For your safety, look for a beach that has certified lifeguards. These trained individuals are responsible for watching out for beachgoers and warning you of riptides and other dangerous swimming conditions. The lifeguards will also caution you about the presence of jellyfish, sharks, and other dangerous creatures.

Thankfully, many beaches in Maui come with lifeguards. Some of the popular beaches on the island that have lifeguards include Hanakao’o Beach Park, Kamaole I, II, and III, Baldwin Beach Park, and Kanaha Beach Park. If you are staying in South Kihei, check out the Kamaole Beaches. Aside from having lifeguards, these beaches also have playgrounds where kids can play if they get bored at the beach.

Know the Weather Forecast

When planning a holiday to Maui, there are lots of preparations involved. Aside from researching which Maui vacation rental to book, you also need to research the weather. The best time to visit Maui is from April to May and September to November. During this time, the weather in Maui is pleasant, allowing you to enjoy the beach safely.

You might be tempted to book your trip outside of the peak season to avail of off-season deals but be warned that the weather may not be ideal for swimming during this time. So, do your research well. The last thing you want is to arrive on the island on the same day that there’s a weather disaster. With heavy rain comes stormwater runoff that could potentially contaminate the water at the beach, and this is something you want to avoid. Also, be wary of high surf advisories.

Be Careful When Exploring Maui’s Natural Environment

As with enjoying the beach, be very cautious and follow signs when exploring Maui’s natural environment, particularly waterfalls and cliffs. While these places are stunning to look at, they can be dangerous. One wrong step could result in a serious fall and potentially getting hit by falling rocks can even be more hazardous. Experts warn that even a small-sized rock falling from a 50-foot cliff can have devastating effects.

When exploring Maui’s scenic hiking trails, always heed warning signs. Even if there is no sign indicating danger, be careful anyway, especially when passing through slippery trails and rocky terrains. Maui’s natural environment is truly beautiful, but keep in mind that it can also pose dangers. So, use common sense and exercise caution.

Maui’s beaches are generally safe. The island welcomes millions of visitors each year, and a vast majority of them experience nothing more uncomfortable than a sunburn. But accidents could happen when we least expect them. So, to minimize your risk of getting injured while on a beach holiday in Maui, always exercise caution. More importantly, plan your trip well and look for accommodations that guarantee a safe and comfortable stay. If you’re traveling with kids, you might be better off staying at a child-friendly vacation rental in Maui that comes with child-friendly amenities, such as a kiddie pool and playground.