After a long winter, Ottawa parents and their kids are looking forward to getting out of the house for some fun in the sun. From lazy poolside afternoons to day trips at the beach, the warm temperatures and bright blue water are calling your name.
To help keep your kids’ delicate skin safe from the dangers of the sun this summer, be sure that you pack the following items in your beach bag:
Sunscreen made for kids
When a young child gets a sunburn, it is not only painful, it increases his or her risk of skin cancer later in life. To prevent sunburns, pack a sunscreen made for kids with an SPF of 30 to 50. As Parents.com advises, parents also need to be sure they are applying the sunscreen correctly — you can’t just apply it when you get to the beach and expect it to work immediately. Sunscreen actually needs about 30 minutes to become fully activated on the skin; a practical tip is to put the sunscreen on your kids right before you leave your home. Then reapply once you get to the pool or beach and repeat the process after the kids get out of the water — even if the sunscreen is listed as “waterproof.”
Hats and sunglasses
To protect delicate faces, kids should be encouraged to wear a hat while they are playing on the sand; choose hats that have wide brims and ear and neck flaps. Since the sun’s UV rays can also damage a child’s eyes, pack some sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV A/B protection. There are a specialty lenses for sunglasses that cut down on the glare from the sun; if your child wears Arnette sunglasses and accidentally drops or breaks the lenses, you can purchase replacement lenses that are 100 percent polarized.
Flip flops or sandals
Both the sand and the decks surrounding pools can get hot on little feet. To prevent your kids’ toes from getting burned or cut by sharp objects that might be lurking in the sand, bring along footwear that is comfy and also easy to slip on and off. Flip flops, sandals and aquasocks are all affordable options.
Plenty of H2O
One of the most important things for summer safety is a cooler filled with plenty of water. As Kids Health notes, even when kids are playing in the cool water they are sweating and losing fluids; if they are engaged in a serious game of tag on the sand, they will lose hydration even faster. The best way to replenish fluids and prevent dehydration is by making sure the kids are drinking at least eight ounces of water every hour. You can purchase bottles of water from the store or bring along several colorful and beach cups and bottles. Of course, you can also treat them to snowcones and maybe a soda while you are at the beach; but stick to water as much as possible while you’re out in the sun.