Living down South makes for some HOT summer months for my family and anyone else that lives anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico! I love the heat…but the humidity added to the heat really drives you crazy! It’s not fun to go outside and play by the end of May or Early June(it’s even hard to breathe some days), unless we go out in the morning hours. BUT, with a house full of children, you do what you can to get them outside, so we don’t all go stir crazy.
These past few hot weeks have been surrounded by bottles of sunscreen, drinking water, bathing suits, OFF-Family for the Texas size mosquito’s and tons of water play!
Before i begin with the fun stuff…i wanted to do a little rant on, water and sun safety.
Sunscreen is always number one on my list, when playing outside. Since being at the beach for a week i’ve had plenty of chances to try out different new improved sunscreens for children. This year there seem to be a plethora of new kinds of sunscreen to buy. One of my FAVORITE sunscreens was the pampers brand sunscreen that went on clear and sprayed out evenly. The spf 50 was nice and really kept the girls from any sort of burn, the entire time we were at the beach. We also tried a few other brands, Coppertone was also good, again sprays on clean and evenly, but only spf 30. Lastly, we tried Banana Boat, which was NOT all that good. It sprayed on…but you still had to rub it in and also gave us all an extra greasy feeling. I don’t think the pampers brand is carried at many stores and to be honest, don’t remember where i bought it. BUT, i’m pretty sure BRU carries it…andi’d spend the extra dollar or two for the pampers any day, over the Coppertone or banana boat. Keep in mind, when using these new sprays, watch for wind and eyes. Today, as i was spraying one of the girls at a local splash pad the wind was blowing pretty badly and the sunscreen ended up in the other babies eyes. Also, another down fall to using this new clear sunscreen is that you really have no way of knowing for sure if you covered the entire body. So keep that in mind and spray and re-spray b/c you can never be too safe with the sunscreen!
Now, since i’m writing about water and safety, i’d like to mention an article about “DRY DROWNING” that i read the other day, that really had me scared. Here is the article : http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24982210/from/ET/
I’m pretty good about safety and things like that, it’s almost like an instinct you get the minute you become a mother or father. Anyway, i had no idea and had never heard of this until a fellow MOM emailed this to our group the other day. It’s really scary and you have to be aware of the signs. Luckily, my girls don’t like the big pools(or they didn’t when we were in FL), so we lived at the splash pad where the water is no deeper than a foot and we watched them very closely to make sure they didn’t inhale water…or we did the best job we could considering your not going to keep every drop of water out of their mouth when your playing in this huge pool of water. So please be careful and take extra precautions to know the signs of dry drowning!
Also, know the signs of sun burn and call a dr. immediately, if you think your child has any sort of burns. Sun burns can turn into blisters and some can even be as bad as a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree burn, which can in turn get infected and do major damage to anyone’s body. We had a fellow mom who’s child ended up with blisters all over his back the other day and had to take him to the dr. immediately, as he wouldn’t allow anyone to touch him or put anything on it. Red hair, fair skinned children are much more apt to get burned really badly, so those of you with those beautiful red head children, please be extra careful out in the sun as red hair and pale skin are much more of an attraction to the sun and burning. Although any child can get a sun burn if not properly protected from the sun.
And lastly, but just as important, is to hydrate your children as well as yourself! Keep those ice chests full of water, Gatorade and whatever else your children like to drink. Even if they don’t like water…make sure they drink something.
Now to the fun stuff! Some great items out there for a wet day in the sun! Since most of us are on a budget and our wallets are emptying by the minute, as the gas prices reach 4.00 per gallon, I have found some pretty nice and cheap toys that will entertain any child during the hot summer months.
One item you need before you even hit the water, are swim diapers. I’ve found that the little swimmers are great and work really well. I can’t even imagine what we did before swim diapers were invented. If you are lazy as i am some days…you can put a swim diaper on…spray the baby with tons of sunscreen and skip the swim suit all together. We do it all the time…and who doesn’t like the idea of TWO less items to put in the washer?
Along with sunscreen & swim diapers, the one major product everyone with children old enough to sit up needs, is a baby pool. Target and Walmart have many kinds of pools, which are good for all ages. I lean towards the plastic 1 foot deep baby pool since we have dogs and our lab, in particular loves to get in with the girls…drink the water and steal the girls toys. For the smaller children, they have blow up pools with the little shades on them and you can probably put in an inch or two of water and make any baby happy!
There are also the pools that are for the toddlers, that are a bit more entertaining. We actually have one of these http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=9729614 at grandma & grandpa’s in KS and Hannah has had a blast playing in it, every since she was a year old! These play pools are nice because they are soft and comfy, have different things to play with and most include a slide that is tons of fun for the older children. There are some that you can connect a hose to and water shoots out of them, just like a sprinkler!
Of course if you have a pool, don’t forget pool toys. I’m cheap about the pool toys. Now a days i load up the bath toys and take them outside and they work out just fine. I also throw in a bucket or two and maybe a few cups and the girls always have a blast! Make sure to always empty out the pool as soon as you are finished due to drowning issues. You just never know if your child could some how slip out the door and end up back in the pool you forgot to drain.
We also just bought a new sprinkler for the girls at target. The one we bought resembles a worm and has a ton of hands flapping around spraying water. The problem with this item, is that the hands get stuck together and the water hits pretty hard. Needless to say we put the more expensive kiddie sprinkler up in the garage for another year or so and brought out the nice cheap round grass sprinkler. Kinda sad that we went and spent 10.00 on a kiddie sprinkler and ended up using the regular grass sprinkler after all. So, my suggestion is use what you have around the house and try those out before you go purchase some nice fancy colorful sprinkler that may not even work as well as the one you already have in the garage!
Have a wonderful summer! Most importantly, be safe and have fun!
O yes, and as Krissy said, HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL THE WONDERFUL FATHERS OUT THERE!