The earlier you start implementing these practices, the more routine they'll become. In fact, I had to laugh; I asked my 8 year old to bring in the recycling bin from the curb and he grabbed his hat before he headed out for this one minute job. I guess it's ingrained in them now!
|Image: Fear No Beauty|
I can't say enough about finding a good sunscreen and using it diligently.
You see products that say they're safe for UVA and/or UVB rays. But, what does that really mean? Here's a great way to remember; UVA are the Aging rays, the ones that cause us to develop wrinkles, etc. UVB rays are the Burning rays, those that cause us to end up looking like a lobster. So remember - A for Aging and B for Burning. You really want to look for Full Spectrum Sunscreens that provide 100% UVA and UVB protection.
I love this sunscreen for the face, it is my absolute favourite. It is easy to apply, doesn't feel heavy, has a nice scent and most importantly, it works!
For their bodies I insist on a cream sunscreen. The sprays seem so much more convenient but it is also very easy to miss areas and I never feel like you get a thick enough coating. A personal fave at our house is this one. I think part of that is because of the tropical smell but it has never let us down. If you need fragrance free, this one is great too.
Remember, no matter which sunscreen you use, keep reapplying throughout the day, about every 2 hours or after swimming. Sweat, swimming, etc. will all decrease the effectiveness or wash away the sunscreen altogether. Don't forget those easy to forget spots either - your ears, knees, calves, elbows and the tops of your feet.
NOTE: I know this post is about keeping safe in the summer but really we should all be protecting ourselves from the sun year round and wearing sunscreen daily.
2. Put on a pair of Sunglasses:
|Images: Real Kids|
Your children's eyes are just as sensitive as their skin. I love this shop for kids' sunglasses. They have 5 sizes ranging from from baby to tween (and super cute age appropriate styles too), they're shatterproof, they provide full spectrum protection and they aren't expensive.
3. Practice Water Safety:
- Never leave kids unattended near water
- Set clear rules and enforce them; i.e. no one allowed in water alone, no touching other people in water, etc.
- Ensure gates are latched around pools - with all the comings and goings, this sometimes gets missed.
- Wear proper PFD when out on boats, etc.
- Don't push kids to pass deep end tests if they're not ready
- Take lessons throughout the year to prepare for summer months. This means parents too.
Obviously this is just scratching the surface. Make sure to follow all rules at waterparks, pools and beaches to ensure your family is safe.
|A water bottle works better but hey, we'll take hydration any way we can get it.|
5. Take time out of the sun:
|Image and instructions: Blue House Joys|
The sun is at it's hottest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Obviously this is a key time for days at the zoo, the waterpark, etc. but it is important to take time out of the sun too. Find a shadey spot under a tree and play some games, visit some of the inside exhibits at the zoo, find a story-time (or make one of your own) at the library or even make a trend of the mid-day movie. How about building your kids a simple hoola-hoop tent that they can use as a mini-fort to get out of the sun, play board games, read, and just hang out.
Have a safe and fun summer!