Summer is here and judging by the days we’ve had so far, it sure feels like it’s going to be another hot one. We were in London all last summer but I often got news about how hot it was and I am already dreading the heat. On the other hand, I do want to make the most of the summer and the sea mostly because Henry is absolutely in love with everything sea/ocean related, not to mention the numerous health benefits of being in and near the sea. One major problem, though…. the sun.
In my younger years I admit I was careless about being in the sun but with a little person in tow, things are very different. Prior to his kidney transplant, his doctor informed us of many risks, one of which is an increased risk of cancer – skin cancer in particular. This risk is one of the side effects of the immunosuppressants he takes. He also gets very blotchy and red in a little heat and since you sweat more in the heat and need more fluids, this can also affect the absorption of the medication.
Solution: avoid the beach or long periods of sun between 1200hrs and 1700hrs.
No matter what time you get to make a trip to the beach with your kiddos, there are always things and ways to make it a little easier and ‘sun safer’.
Two weeks ago, I packed a few essentials and we made our way to the beach. The few hours we spent there, went smoother than I expected and it was because I prepared a little better.
Here is a list of the summer essentials I packed.
I usually get a sunblock that is a high protection SPF50+ UVB UVA and preferably water resistant. I always have a tube in my bag that I carry with me everywhere. I know there has been a lot of controversy over the chemicals in sunblocks and that they can actually cause more damage, but I am not sure enough research has been done and sometime feel that there is always something to make parents question the methods they take to care for their children. If it’s a major concern, there are now quite a few brands that make sunblocks with more natural ingredients, or you can opt to make your own.
SunHero Sunblock Indicator
This, my friends, is going to be a real game changer this summer. Up until now it was always a concern of mine while at the beach, how to know when it was time to re-apply sunblock.
On our visit to the beach a few weeks ago, we gave this ingenious product a try. Basically, you stick it to an area of the skin that is most exposed to the sun and apply sunblock, on the skin and over the little sticker. When applied, the sticker is white, and you’ll know it’s time to reapply sunblock when the sticker turns purple. The SunHero is also water resistant so there is no worry about it washing away in the water.
So no more guessing about sunblock, on the beach, just out of the water or even out and about, the SunHero Sunblock Indicator is certainly a hero for my little hero. You can find them at My Favourite Things Shop in Naxxar and are available in a pack of 10 or 24.
We carry water with us all the time, where ever we go, every single day. Water is recommended for anyone, but especially for kidney care and health. When we go to the beach I also like to carry an extra bottle to rinse off salt water/sand. When Henry was younger he had terrible rashes in his nappy area and the combination of the heat, salt and sand irritated him very badly, so I always take that extra bottle for that last rinse before the ride home.
Sure, one towel is a no brainer, but when your child insists on stepping all over it with his sandy legs, you still need a clean one to use, here is one of my absolute favourites.
I also like to have a face cloth handy because its small and can be dusted quickly and reused, it’s also good to use to dry little faces and to use for the fresh water rinse.
Thankfully, Henry doesn’t mind hats and he unless he starts to feel very hot, he is ok wearing a hat.
I know that not all kids like wearing hats but even if it’s for short times on and off, it’s still better than nothing. Every little bit of protection from the sun helps.
So much fun swimwear to choose from. I like one piece suits that offer a little more coverage from the sun.
I recently came across a post from a friend of mine who’s children got stung with jellyfish, I felt terrible but so happy she met someone who quickly handed her some vinegar to help soothe the stings these poor children got. I was, however shocked by someone who commented on her post that she was a bad mother for not taking vinegar out with her. Let’s face it, vinegar is not the first thing you think of when packing your beach bag! Why are people so quick to judge and make an already difficult situation for this mother harder? Everyone is smarter after the fact and I am pretty sure this woman didn’t always take vinegar to the beach with her, and if she did, well done, educate other mothers don’t make them feel bad. On that note, since we’ve had an incredible increase of jellyfish in our waters this summer, try to make sure vinegar is packed into your beach bag.
Heaven forbid I leave the house without snacks. I try to make homemade things and pack little portions of food things anytime we go out but eating at the beach always makes everything taste better. Maltese bread with olive oil and tomatoes is never as good at home as it is on the beach, right?! We haven’t been to the beach enough for me to share this divine treat with Henry, but I’ll work on that. On our last trip I packed little sausages, a fish burger, homemade nut and seed bread, dried figs, and some cream cheese.
For sanitary reasons, I always carry a portable potty seat that can be used as a potty on its own with disposable bags or as a seat on a toilet. It’s also very useful to have handy for longer car rides when your little just needs to go, you can just stop the car and let them fo their business, and avoid accidents.
Change of Clothes
After the beach, I like to get my little one out of his salty bathing suit and into some clean clothes, especially if the suit is still wet when it’s time to leave. I like to go for something cool and comfortable like natural cottons and linens.
Nothing is more annoying than sand all over everything everywhere, in every nook and cranny, unless you use talcum powder. If you sprinkle a bit of powder over the sand on your own or your little ones body, the sand just slides right off.
Once you and your little one change out of your wet clothes, you’ll need somewhere to keep them until you get home. This way, you won’t get all the other things in your bag wet and damp.
I learned my lesson from the time my son got really bad irritation and a terrible rash from the sand and salt. Nowadays, I prefer to try to prevent things, if and when I can, and barrier cream has really helped avoid these rashes and irritations, especially with the heat.
If you think you might be out late and after the sun goes down, try to keep a good insect repellant handy to avoid all the nasty mozzies that love our little ones so much.
Although not mandatory, and you’re little one will probably not let you forget any of the toys, it’s also a good idea to keep some in your bag… for that spur of the moment beach trip.
We no longer leave the house without a sea related toy. We absolutely love the durable and environmentally sustainable PlanToys products which are made from non-chemically treated rubber wood. And you know every little sea lover needs a cute whale whistle! *like, don’t leave home without it!*
Download the FREE checklist here, put up on your fridge and refer to it anytime.
Have a sun-safe fun summer!