How NOT to Fry Your Kids This Summer (Sun Safety Tips)

Funny that this article should come to us this week from one of our ADMINS for The Snap Mom Community, because my family and I just had a beach day last friday and I messed it up soooo badly! Ha! You would have thought it was my first day on the planet! I forgot sunscreen and water, couldn’t get our sunshade “tent” up and I had like dressy sandals on, which I ended up ruining! Hahahahahah! Wish I would have read this! Now I know and now you know and won’t make these mistakes!


by Shannon VanderKooy | guest writer for The Snap Mom

Here in Florida, we don’t really have a season without the sun. As parents we are constantly faced with decisions about what to bring along, what to dress them in, which products do we need when playing at the park, the pool and the beautiful beaches. Here are a few tips and some great products for you to have a safe, fun, and successful sunny day.

1. Hydration

This is one of the key things to remember when being outdoors on a hot day. Make sure you are offering extra breastfeeding sessions, bottles, or if your child is older, have water, juice, or even popsicles to help get fluids in. Lots of fluid on board is key to helping avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion. Fluids can also come in the form of fruits, so don’t forget about packing some of those juicy fruits such as watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, etc. Keep a handy cooler nearby!

2. Shade

When staying out for long periods of time, shade is essential not only to helping your body cool, but also preventing you from getting a sunburn. One way to keep the sun off, is to have some type of hat. My boys prefer a baseball hat, but we also have a cute bucket hat with a rim all the way around. Another option is a tent. We have taken our boys to the beach for years and always took a beach umbrella with us. This year, we decided with having our youngest son, that we would try something different and so we purchased this wonderful shade tent. I never thought I’d be one to bring a little tent, but this thing is a lifesaver! It allows air to blow through and has two screened window panels that can be open or closed. You can leave the back down, or lift it up for a breeze. Most importantly for me was the fact that all I do is throw the strap over my should and when I take it out of the back it pops up on its own! How easy is that?! I don’t know why I didn’t get one of these years ago, but I love it! Another tip: if you have a child under 1, I suggest bringing a fitted sheet with you so that you can easily lay it down and make it a sand-free zone. Lastly, don’t forget to shade your eyes. Make sure you are using some sort of sunglass that has both UVA and UVB protection.

3. Sunscreen

This is a biggie! You may not be aware, but overexposure to sunlight before age 18 is the most damaging to skin. For those who are DIY’ers, this is a great link to our DIY sunscreen. For moms who don’t have the time, or just want the option to purchase some, there are a lot of options out there. If you want brands that are found to be more natural/safe on the skin, these 3 brands are in the low hazard category according to the EWG scale: Badger, Babyganics, and California Baby. Keep in mind that sunscreen should be applied 30mins before you go outside and reapplied after 2 hours of activity or swimming, to be the most effective.
*Any sunscreen is better than none, so even if you can just get a store brand sunscreen, it is protection.

4. Lightweight clothing/footwear

With the heat, you want to make sure that you dress accordingly by using lightweight materials. The technology has improved a lot over the years, and now there is lightweight water clothing such as swim shirts that include an SPF protection while wearing them. If you aren’t wearing swim clothes, try to make sure it is a breathable material. A much forgotten one is footwear. Even a simple cheap flip-flop is fine, but a great option is a water shoe. If you go to a water park or the beach, it can protect their feet from anything they may step on, as well as being more sanitary when having to walk to a bathroom. Feet can easily burn on pavement as well, and wearing a water shoe ensures that if they run onto hot pavement, their feet will be protected.

Even after a “protected” day, there are still times where your skin may have been overexposed and a burn may have occurred. If that’s the case, try this DIY salve.
When headed to the pool or beach, don’t forget to bring along snacks, towels, sand or pool toys, and the other items mentioned. Have fun, stay safe and enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air!

References:
http://www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/#0
http://www.skincancer.org/…/sun-safety-tips-for-infants-bab…
http://www.uchicagokidshospital.org/online-l…/content=P02822

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