With so many people under the weather thanks to colds and the flu making their rounds I thought I’d share a few natural tips for staying healthy this winter. 1. Eat well. Your diet is the number one means by which you can build your immune system. It is a bit more challenging to find fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter but broccoli, greens, citrus fruits, and squash are a few that are readily available. More »
You might be surprised to know that the air inside your home could be dangerous. In fact, our indoor air is often what causes common illnesses and ailments such as fatigue, asthma, skin conditions, learning disabilities, ADHD, digestive issues, infertility, obesity, and cancer. More »
In our house very little food goes to waste. If leftovers aren’t eaten within two days they get frozen. Vegetables that are looking a little sad get thrown into a batch of pasta sauce or soup. If I don’t have time to whip up a batch of something with them then, most vegetables, I can just quickly chop and throw in the freezer (I almost always have frozen chopped peppers or broccoli in my freezer.) More »
When it comes to colds and flu, there are two approaches: prevention and treatment. There are natural remedies for both of these approaches. Stock up on treatments and begin prevention now, and you should have a much more comfortable cold and flu season. Here are some ideas: More »
Are You Protecting Your Children From the Sun?
At a recent visit to the beach I was struck by how many children (and babies) were running around in the hot sun without so much as a sunhat to protect their head and eyes. After a couple hours of people-watching I did not notice even one parent re-applying sunscreen to their children which led me to wonder if they even had put any on them to begin with.
I was surprised by this mostly because there has been so much information out there lately about the dangerous effects of too much sun on our skin and I just assumed that most parents would want to protect their children. Isn’t that our job?
But then given the number of parents that I saw slathering themselves in oil and literally baking themselves for hours in the hot sun should have alerted me to the fact that some people just don’t care. Some people still think that the long term detrimental effects are worth the short term brown glow that they think makes them look healthier. I wonder if they’ll still feel that way in twenty or thirty years when they (or their children) have skin cancer.
I guess I should try to be a little less judgmental and give them the benefit of the doubt, I suppose, maybe, they just never read newspapers, magazines or listen to the radio or television so they really have no idea……
Protect Your Children (and yourself) at the beach:
- Always, always apply sunscreen, preferably SPF 30 or higher, thirty minutes before going in the sun. Make sure to reapply it every two hours and after swimming. Look for a sunscreen that is broad spectrum to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Environmental Working Group has a sunscreen guide that you can use to choose the least toxic, but still effective, sunscreen available. So far we’ve tried the Alba Botanica Sport SPF 32 and the All Terrain TerraSport SPF 30. Both seem to work really well. The Alba Botanica is rated a little higher for toxicity by EWG which is why we switched to the All Terrain. It’s not always easy to find the non-toxic sunscreens in stores, I purchased mine through Amazon.com.
- Have your children wear a sunhat with a brim all the way around, this protects the ears and neck unlike a baseball style hat that only protects the eyes and forehead. There is also UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) clothing available for children. You can find sunhats, bathing suits
- Try avoiding the beach during the hottest part of the day, when the UV index is at it’s strongest 10 am to 4pm.
- It’s not always practical to stay away from the beach during peak hours, especially when you’re away on vacation. It’s a good idea to invest in a beach umbrella so that playing in the sand can at least take place in the shade. If you’re worried about some of the accidents that have happened with beach umbrellas blowing away and hurting people there’s even something to help you with that. Noblo* has a cool little bag that you fill with sand and attach to your umbrella. The weight of the sand holds the umbrella in place.
- Exposure to the sun can also damage young eyes. The lens of young children’s eyes lets in more UV radiation than an adult eye which can lead to cataracts and other possible eye diseases. Protect their eyes with a good pair of children’s sunglasses. Make sure that they are 100% UVA and UVB safe. If you have trouble getting your infant or toddler to keep them on then you can get an adjustable strap that attaches to the arms of the sunglasses.
A few random tips for a safe, happy day at the beach:
- Before allowing your child to dig you might want to do a quick check of the sand to make sure there are no sharp objects such as broken glass, bottle caps or even sharp rocks.
- Protect young feet from burning sand and sharp objects with closed in beach/water shoes. Flip flops are okay but sharp objects can still find their way in between little toes and the sole of the shoe.
- Make sure to always have a lot of water on hand to keep children hydrated. Don’t rely on them to tell you when they’re thirsty. They can get carried away having to much fun and not want to stop for a drink.
- Last but not least, and I’m sure it goes without saying, make sure to keep your child in sight at all times. If you are going as a family or group and you think you might be distracted by visiting or taking care of an infant it’s probably a good idea to have your children wear a life jacket even when just playing near the water.
Sun exposure damages the skin and affects the growth and division of cells. So that golden glow that makes kids look so healthy is actually skin damage. Remember, even though skin cancer usually only shows up in adults it is usually triggered by overexposure to sun in childhood.
If you have any additional sun protection tips I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments!