This story originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveler’s Website.
As a parent, I take great care about the foods my children eat, and the safety of the products they use. But on a vacation at the beach, it’s easy to forget about the invisible bacteria and chemicals in the water that, if they exist in high quantities, can cause stomach flu, colds, and skin rashes.
Here are some steps to check on water quality at the beaches you’ll be visiting on vacation:
• Every year the Natural Resources Defense Council publishes a guide to water quality at vacation beaches that gives an excellent state-by-state overview of both water quality issues and frequency of closures for vacation beaches in the US. You can also look at historical information for the most popular beaches.